Descartes (was: GRAMMAR: s's vs. s')

Richard Brodie (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 12:25:48 -0800

I once had an argument with a fellow from Norway who said his university
class got so worked up from discussing where the apostrophe goes that
they completely banned any discussion of Cartesian philosophy. Oh,
well...I suppose it was putting Descartes before the Norse anyway...

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?

>From: Damien Broderick[]
>Sent: Monday, January 27, 1997 6:21 AM
>Subject: Re: GRAMMAR: s's vs. s'
>One final slash at the foe:
>When logic fails, we can always roll out salient Authority and Time
>Honoured-Usage. Thus:
>Britannica, vol. 15, p. 589, `Descartes and Cartesianism':
>`...according to Descartes's own account...'
>Bertrand Russell, HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, p. 542:
>`Descartes's father...'
>On the other hand, when you make a prat of yourself, as I do all too
>you can only fall back on obfuscation and sleight of hand. Thus, when
>referred in a recent post to Descartes as `our Port Royal pal', this
>several synapses short of a thought. For a start, I meant
>secondly, that would have been Blaise Pascal and not Descartes. Inner
>scrutiny suggests an attractor fired erroneously (we could call it `the
>"Descartes's" error') by `Port-Royal grammarians', rationalism,
>linguistics... Sigh. I want one of those nice IA enhancers, please.
>Damien Broderick