05 March 2007

war, peace, etc

by Cecily
More of the war and less of the peace, these days, hm?

painting of children's faces in tents
the picture links to where you can buy the book

Last summer one of the people I met and drank wine with was Sybella Wilkes Moumtzis. She has done a lot of interesting things, one of which is publish the book from which the painting above is taken. (One Day We Had to Run!; Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press)

This is a painting by Binti Aden Denle, age 12, in the Ifo refugee camp in Ethiopia. The story Binti told about the picture:

"All night we wait in tents for the day to come. This place is very dangerous, bandits attack us at night. I am showing the frightened faces of the children in our camp."

I just bought and started reading Dave Eggers's* new book What is the What, which is about the Lost Boys of Sudan. I already wanted to read it because an excerpt was published a couple of years ago (or not an exerpt exactly but an article that would sort of become this book) as 'It was just boys walking' in The Believer. And then I went to the bookstore for happy hour last week and saw The Lost Boys of Sudan on the shelf and that reminded me of the other book plus also someone was talking about the documentary.

Don't you wish you had a bookstore where you could go have happy hour? Beer and books!

Anyway, the topic keeps coming up in my head, and it should come up in everybody else's head too. Someone I know once told me they didn't want to think about refugee children because it was too sad and there was nothing they could do. To which I say, if you need help thinking of something to do, let me know. I can think of some things.

*Yes, I know you are not supposed to use another S if the noun ends in S. I don't care, and I am a linguistics major so I can do whatever I want to language and it is automatically right. Leave me alone.


  1. I swear on all that is dear to me that I read at some point in high school (probably in a reliable out-of-print style manual I got at the library book sale for a quarter) that adding an apostrophe-s to names ending in S is ABSOLUTELY correct (except when the name is Greek or Biblical, e.g., Moses' staff and Jesus' blood). Correct as in, a simple apostrophe after the S is totally WRONG. In my book, that existing-S-followed-by-just-an-apostrophe is ONLY for PLURALS.

    As a Stults, I feel I have a special moral authority on this topic which not even linguistics majors can match.

    So: please carry on, Cecily, without apology! I totally support this practice, and in fact, I find the other way of doing things outrageously offensive.

  2. My recollection of the rule is that it is not Greekness or Biblicalness that matters, but the number of syllables. Meaning if it has one syllable you add the extra S and more than one syllable you do not.

    But, I don't care. I hate it. I even hate it when it's Jesus or Moses. How many Sons of Man are you talking about? Oh only one? THEN IT'S NOT PLURAL!

    I have many strong emotions about punctuation.

    I also hate it that if "it" owns something, you can't apostrophize it. It's not fair that it doesn't get it's own apostrophe.

    Stupid punctuation rules.