Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Conanne the Grammarian

She who swings a mighty…sharp pointy editing pencil! She who is lethal death on serial commas! Who never met an ellipsis she didn’t like (unless they have four periods, which is just stupid… The idea is that the thought is trailing off, which it can’t do if one puts a fourth period stop to it…)! Who fights for the vanishing semicolon! Who is admittedly wobbly on the rule about capitalizing the first word after a colon if it precedes a full sentence! Yes! THAT Conanne!

Conanne’s attention has been engaged of late by the “Bill Sweater Problem.” How is it, Conanne wonders, that we say (or are urged to say) “a friend of Bill”, yet we say, just as possessively, “a sweater of Bill’s”? Bill stands in a possessive relationship to both friend and sweater, so this is puzzling, to say the least.

We can say “a friend of Bill’s”, but many think us wrong to do so (Conanne, however, is not among them). But we cannot say “a sweater of Bill”, unless perchance we have knitted ourselves one out of his shredded connective tissue.

As Conanne says, this is puzzling.

Also, Conanne is fed up with putting punctuation marks inside quotes when they are not part of the thing quoted. As above: “a sweater of Bill’s”, not “a sweater of Bill’s,” for example. The lone exception she will allow is the period at the end of a sentence that ends in a close quote, “like this.” And that grudgingly. If given her typographical druthers, Conanne would have the period right under the quotes, but this does not seem likely to happen. Not until she starts working on Patricia’s new books, anyway.


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