Friday, September 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Should you send ‘season’s greetings’ or ‘seasons greetings’?

By
From page A10 | December 18, 2011 |

While preparing your holiday cards, you may be stumped by a recurring December dilemma: should you write “season’s greetings” or “seasons’ greetings”? Or “seasons greetings,” with no apostrophe at all?

The expression “season’s greetings” is an expression of “genitive case” — also known as possessive — in which one noun is the “possessor” of another noun.

Genitive case can be used to express an attribute. For example, a reference to “Sophia’s arrival” does not indicate that she “possesses” an arrival; “arrival” names an action that Sophia is taking. That’s a particular kind of genitive case that grammarians call “subjective genitive.” The word in the genitive case (Sophia’s) performs an action that the “possessed” word names (Sophia arrives). The subject is Sophia’s arrival.

In contrast, a construction called “objective genitive” is composed of a genitive that modifies a noun that performs an inferred action upon the genitive modifier: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English offers “your father’s illness” (the illness acted upon your father) and “his tormentors” (referring to people who tormented him).

The phrase “season’s greetings” can be considered a descriptive genitive or an objective genitive. When Belinda says “season’s greetings,” the greetings are hers; they do not belong to the season. She is sending greetings for the season or greeting people in the spirit of the season. But she is speaking of only one season; offering “seasons’ greetings” would indicate that she is referring to two or more seasons, which presumably is not Belinda’s intention.

So at the end of this year you can confidently offer clients, colleagues, business associates, relatives and friends “greetings for the season” — or “season’s greetings” (with the apostrophe between the “n” and the “s”).

If you’re still hesitant about writing “season’s greetings” because people don’t really say that to one another, you can always honor specific traditions instead. Wish a “merry Christmas” to Christians, “happy Hanukkah” (or Chanukah) to people of the Jewish faith, “happy Kwanzaa” or “joyous Kwanzaa” to African-American friends, and “eid mubarak” (which literally means “blessed festivities”) to Muslims.

You might also wish someone a “happy new year,” but don’t say “happy new years” (plural) unless you’re referring to more than one year at a time (the holiday is named in possessive form: New Year’s Day).

We at EditPros favor “happy holidays” because most people celebrate more than one holiday this time of year — an ethnic or religious holiday in addition to the advent of the new calendar year.
Whichever greeting you choose, find a comfortable pen, limber your wrist, and get started. The holidays are just about here.

— Marti Childs and Jeff March are co-owners of EditPros LLC (www.editpros.com) of Davis, and authors of “Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? – Volume 1.”

Comments

comments

Jeff March and Marti Childs

.

News

Grant means new push for moving tracks out of town

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Some say council needs to reconsider MRAP

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

UC to create $250 million venture capital fund

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

 
School district may redevelop downtown site

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
Master Gardeners share their wisdom at free workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Scots vote to stay in UK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
France strikes Islamic State group’s depot in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Man faces arson charge in huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
DUI suspected in crash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Woodland Healthcare offering flu shots

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Putah Creek Bike Path to close temporarily

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Little Free Libraries open at Montgomery

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Rabid bat found at Holmes Junior High

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Students invited to apply for Blue & White grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Telling tales, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Free workout class set at library

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Explorit: Lots of ways to be a volunteer

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Sierra Club remembers longtime walker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
DHS Classes of 1954 and 1955 will hold 60th reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Nonprofits can get DCN’s help

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis maps available at Chamber office

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Reception benefits endangered gorillas

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Davis hosts its own climate change rally

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Sutter Farmers Market offers local goods

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Wolk applauds approval of stronger rules for olive oil

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Qigong classes available for heart health

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Sick of being the bad guy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Return to previous plan

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Save the ‘pine cone place’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Affirm our community values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Project has safety risks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Learn more about Paso Fino

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Educate homeless with dogs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Cheers and Jeers: Not the end of the rainbow

By Our View | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Aggies’ new energy could be scary for Big West

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
No rest for the weary: Aggie TE Martindale busy on and off the field

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils hope the light bulb turns on at Edison

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
River Cats and Giants sign two-year deal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Blue Devil volleyballers hold off Herd

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Take Zona and Bama this week

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

Mustangs are no match for DHS boys in water polo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
A’s slide continues as Rangers sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

Name Droppers: Awards keep coming for UC Davis retiree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

Redesigned 2015 Escalade remains breed all its own

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, September 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A10

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Taylor Morrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Norcal Land

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Robin Garland

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Dana Hawkins

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Martha Bernauer

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Remax

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Melrina A Maggiora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Marcelo Campos

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Julie Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Jamie Madison & Associates

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Bob Bockwinkel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Juan Ramirez

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

James Hanna

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Susan von Geldern

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

Lisa Haass

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

First Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER24