Tag Archives: Mothers Day

lissotrichous

Our idea of mothers is very much shaped by the way our own respective mothers were when we were young. My mother, in the 1970s when I was in my most formative years, was winsome, sanguine, sage, easily amused, gastronomically expert, mellifluous of voice, statuesque, and lissotrichous.

No, I did not know the word lissotrichous at the time. I may have been a boy genius and super annoying and all that but come on. Here, though, see her in the summer of 1976: Continue reading

Don’t be so possessive

My latest article for The Week looks at the rationale people give for wanting to leave the apostrophe out of Father(’)s Day, Mother(’)s Day, etc.: the fathers, mothers, and others don’t possess the days, so we shouldn’t use the possessive. And so here we see one of the most badly misnamed features in English grammar:

Stop calling possessives ‘possessive’