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James’ Bag or James’s Bag: Indicating Ownership with the Apostrophe



James’ Bag or James’s Bag: Indicating Ownership with the Apostrophe

The punctuation mark called the apostrophe (’) is one of the most important symbols in English language. It performs three major functions, with the first bordering on pluralisation. For instance:
1. Underline the f’s and circle the q’s.
2. These are my do’s and don’ts.
Secondly, it functions as an indicator of an omission or a contraction (int’l and don’t). Its third and supremely important function is the depiction of ownership, which many users of English find difficult to grasp, especially in writing. Mercifully, this treatise will cast light on the rules governing the usages of the apostrophe to indicate ownership, alongside other core uses.
Fundamentally, the apostrophe is used when assigning possession to singular nouns that do not end in ‘s’, as seen in examples such as: Kunle’s book, Femi’s bag and Juliet’s bracelet. As a corollary to that, a singular noun that ends in ‘s’ could either attract the apostrophe alone or an apostrophe that is succeeded by ‘s’. This reinforces the appropriateness of: James’/James’s wallet, Julius’/Julius’s singlet and Thomas’/Thomas’s girlfriend. While the former option sounds more natural, especially in spoken English, the latter alternative reflects grammatical aesthetics. The choice is, therefore, an open one for language users. However, the nouns in this category should not be mistaken for those ones that contain two s’s — one in the middle and another at the end. Nouns in this category attract only the apostrophe without ‘s’. Representative examples are ‘Jesus’ and ‘Moses’, and their usage is exemplified below:
3. Christians pray in Jesus name (incorrect).
Christians pray in Jesus’s name (incorrect).
Christians pray in Jesus’ name (correct).
4. Moses’ assets are worth 900 million dollars (correct).
Although some users have made a case for the correctness of Moses’s and Jesus’s, it is advisable to keep clear of these orthographic representations because their pronunciations sound really awkward. Having considered singular nouns, it is essential to school you in the use of plural nouns with the apostrophe. When a plural noun ends in ‘s’, it takes the apostrophe alone to indicate ownership, as portrayed in the ensuing noun phrases: boys’ bags, ladies’ wear and firefighters’ hazmat suits.
In the case of plural nouns that do not end in ‘s’, an apostrophe and an ‘s’ are used to indicate possession. Quintessential examples include: Children’s Day, men’s shoes and women’s hats. Remarkably, there are other peculiar usages of the apostrophe, such as ascribing ownership of a single item to a group of people. When this is the case, the last person to be mentioned reflects the apostrophe for collective ownership. This is made abundantly clear in the example sentences below:
5. The company is Kunle’s, Femi’s and Tayo’s (incorrect).
The company is Kunle, Femi and Tayo’s (correct).
Contrariwise, if different persons own their entities severally, all of the names will reflect the ownership thus:
6. These manufacturing concerns are Kunle’s, Femi’s and Tayo’s (correct).
Furthermore, be mindful of the reality that ownership can exist within another ownership. When this occurs, every instance of ownership is apostrophised, as illustrated below:
7. This is my father favourite worker child’s school (incorrect).
This is my father’s favourite worker’s child’s school (correct).
Interestingly, too, it is of critical importance to apostrophise any noun that precedes the noun ‘sake’.
8. This administration should prudently invest in human capital development, for posterity sake (incorrect).
This administration should prudently invest in human capital development, for posterity’s sake (correct).
9. For goodness sake, stop spanking these children (incorrect)!
For goodness’ sake, stop spanking these children (correct)!
10. The class was split into four groups, for convenience sake (incorrect).
The class was split into four groups, for convenience’/convenience’s sake (correct).
11. For correctness’ sake, the apostrophe should be used with pinpoint accuracy (correct).
12) For God sake, stop prying into Hannah’s private affairs (incorrect).
For God’s sake, stop prying into Hannah’s private affairs (correct).
Additionally, the apostrophe will prove consequential when indicating the timescales of uncountable nouns. Classic examples are:
12. These vaccines are products of a seven-year research (incorrect).
These vaccines are products of seven years’ research (correct).
13. Greg was sentenced to a nine-year imprisonment (incorrect).
Greg was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment (correct).
14. Mr. Davidson was given a one-month paternity leave (incorrect).
Mr. Davidson was given a/one week’s paternity leave (correct).
15. I have a nine-year experience in civil engineering (incorrect).
I have nine years’ experience in civil engineering (correct).
16. God willing, I shall be awarded a PhD in two years’ time (correct).
Other miscellaneous usages of the apostrophe include:
17. I bought three thousand naira worth of comestibles (incorrect).
I bought three thousand naira’s worth of comestibles (correct).
18. The convalescent child had a good night sleep (incorrect).
The convalescent child had a good night’s sleep (correct).
To round off this treatise, some expositions will be made on the use of the apostrophe in idiomatic expressions. First off, a place that is in close proximity to somewhere else is said to be a ‘stone’s throw’; not ‘a stone throw’. Secondly, a very long period of time is idiomatically expressed as ‘donkey’s years’; not ‘donkey years’.
Achieving finesse in language use is a function of paying meticulous attention to the minutest grammatical detail. Hence, if well internalised, this piece will upscale your level of eloquence.
© 2020 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (Dr GAB)

Ganiu Abisoye Bámgbóṣé (PhD) is a passionate teacher of English in one of the foremost Nigerian universities. This scholar, who is also known as Dr Gab, educates readers on the differences between the native and non-native speakers' use of the English language towards engendering mutual intelligibility.

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Regina Queens came first in the Renaissance Instructors 2021 Quiz Competition



Regina Mundi Catholic Girls’ Secondary School, Iwo, Osun State came first in the 2021 6th Outreach of Renaissance Instructors General Knowledge and Current Affairs Quiz Competition tagged “BATTLE OF WITS”.

Renaissance Instructor is a novel idea conceived by a passionate teacher (Wahab Segun John) around August 2017. It started at first as a major concern about the education of disadvantaged students in Iwo and environs and later became idea accepted by consortium of great minds collectively called INSTRUCTORS, who by their nature are consumed with a passion of making a difference especially in the area of education.

The contest started with first round, Written Objective of 50 questions on Monday 26th of July, 2021 among invited Secondary Schools across Iwo, Osun State.

Sequel to the electrifying performance of Regina Queens at the first round, the Queens were invited to participate in the final round slated for Saturday September 11th 2021 at the Hall of A1 Comprehensive Grammar School, Iwo, Osun State.

Regina Mundi Catholic Girls school were represented by Oyeshomo Jessica Ayomide and Ogunsanya Aderemi at the first round with Ibezimakor Monalisa and Oyebode Margaret as observers.

At the final round, Oyeshomo Jessica Ayomide and Okhuleigbe Benardette represented the Catholic School with Ugbodaga Confidence and Olugunagba Damilola as observers and the History and Government Teacher of the school, Mr. Adeloye Oluwaseun Emmanuel groomed the students for the Quiz competition and rewarded greatly by the organizer of the competition.

The five schools that participated at the final round are Regina Mundi Catholic Girls’ Grammar school, Iwo, Aipate Baptist Church Grammar School, Iwo, New College Iwo, Precious Baptist Group of Schools, Iwo and A1 Comprehensive Grammar School, Iwo, Osun State. Regina Mundi Queens as popularly called came first with landslide victory.

The Regina Mundi Queens did not only come first, but the guests of honour which include a Professor of Chemistry, a Polytechnic Rector, Doctors, Engineers, Teachers, Entrepreneurs like A-Planet, parents and students were all surprised when Oyeshomo Jessica Ayomide (one of the Regina Queens) rose up and broke a riddle from Chemistry that had silent everyone in the hall for minutes, a Medical Doctor Who was caught in awe of Oyeshomo brilliancy rewarded her with mouthwatering gift.

The organizer themselves refered to Regina Mundi Queens as Encyclopedia of knowledge for their outstanding and electrifying performance and praised Mr. Adeloye who spares no sweat in grooming the students.

The Principal of Regina Mundi Catholic Girls Grammar School, Rev’d Sister Chimezie Etoama gives kudos to the Department of Humanities, headed by Mr. Abioro for their hardworking on the students especially in the area of Current Affairs.

Mr. Adeloye who groomed and presented the Regina Mundi Queens for the Quiz competition took to his facebook timeline the following statement:

“Neither may the achievements of men blotted out of time nor may the good deeds of great men go unsung… ”

“Kudos to the Renaissance Instructors for the opportunity given to our Regina Queens ably represented by Oyeshomo Jessica Ayomide and Okheleigbe Bernadette Osemamode to participate and display their educational prowess in the Quiz competition of Renaissance Instructors 6th School Outreach tagged ‘BATTLE of the WITS’ .

Our Regina Queens came first among the five schools that participated at the grand finale.

I appreciate The Principal Rev’d Sister Chimezie Etoama and my indefatigable, benevolent, humble HOD of Humanities Mr. Abioro for the opportunity given unto me to groom the students for the competition.”

In the same vein, the Initiator of Renaissance Instructors also took to his facebook page and has this to say:

“I am indebted to my father for living but more indebted for my teachers for living well”
“Those were the words of Alexandra the great.”

“We appreciate God for the success of yesterday program and also I want to tender a big thank you to all our invited guests who find it worthy to make the occasion colorful and a me memorable one…”

“Thanks to all Instructors,you all belong to Plato’s s school of thought which says ” youths is the time for extraordinary toil””

“That’s explains why we are toiling to be tall…”

“Congratulations to Regina Mundi Catholic Girls Secondary School, Iwo for picking the first prize…”

“Congratulations to Precious Baptist school and Newton college for your brilliant performance.. Congratulations to Aipate baptist church Grammar school and A1 comprehensive Grammar school also for giving it a good fight during the quiz competition..You did well.”

God bless you..

“Renaissance instructors..making a difference”

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Grammar Trends




Today, I would share with you the difference between one who double dates and another who two-times. Two-time?

See the difference below:

To deceive or be unfaithful to a lover is to two-time.
Are you sure he’s not *two-timing* you (not, double dating)?

Double dating
This is a date involving two couples
We went out on a *double date* with Jim and Karen.
She and Shuman *double-date* with an elderly couple they’ve befriended.

Hopefully, you’d avoid this faux pas when you write or speak.


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Grammar Trends

Refrain from these COMMON ERRORS




Shed light on it (not shed more light on it).

I’ll pay you at the end of the month (not I’ll pay you by month end).

He is talkative (not he is a talkative).

He was in jeans and polo (not he was on jeans and polo).

I will pay your fare (not transport fare). Fare means money paid for a transport ticket so the word ‘transport’ is redundant.

We are lagging behind (not, lacking behind).

He is stocky (not, lanky). Many erroneously think to be broad and sturdily built is to be lanky, whereas to be lanky is to be ungracefully thin.

We had guests from all walks of life (not, works of life).

I am Ikeoluwapo B. Baruwa (not, Baruwa Ikeoluwapo B.). When arranging one’s name, the surname comes last. However, if you write the surname first, it has to be separated by a comma: Baruwa, Ikeoluwapo B.

He’s a member of staff (not, a staff). All of the employees of an organisation make up the staff so an individual can’t be a staff.

Credit: GAB

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Reps to meet ASUU today over IPPIS




The university lecturers, ASUU in a battle with the Federal Government, over the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.

The ASUU has thrown barbs at the policy, describing it as fraught with irregularities and high-handedness.

At a plenary session in the House on Tuesday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, however, announced a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with the union and the House Committee on Tertiary education, headed by Rep.(Prof) Julius Ihonvbere (Edo-State).

The Senate President was at a meeting with the union at the time of filing this report.

The ASUU has been on strike for several months, insisting on the reversal of the IPPIS policy as it affects academic workers in universities.

Though the Federal Government has argued that it won’t waive the policy for the academia, the National Assembly hopes to bring both parties to an agreement, as schools are set to reopen.

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Nigeria’s Police Chief Dissolves SARS following Widespread Protests



Nigeria’s Police Chief Dissolves SARS following Widespread Protests

In a press statement released today by the Police Spokesperson, Frank Mba, the Nigeria Inspector general of police has disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad known as SARS following widespread #EndSARS protests.

The statement reads:



In the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centred and community policing, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has today, 11th October 2020, dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed.

The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.

The IGP notes that the Force is not oblivious of the ever present need to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country which was before now the core mandate of the erstwhile Squad. He assures that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.

Meanwhile, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.

In addition, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team which shall include Civil Society Organizations and Human Rights Bodies to work with the Police in investigating alleged cases of human rights violations. The measure, the IGP believes, will enhance transparency and accountability in police services as well as providing a system of deterrence for erring police officers whose action clearly violates the rights of the citizenry.

The IGP appreciates and commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic and civil manner. He reaffirms the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that is professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people.


The dissolution follows widespread protest all over the country following police harassment, stealing, extortion and killing of innocent citizens especially the young men. The protest has attracted support with the hashtag #ENDSARS across the country and already gaining attention from other countries of the world.

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What Covid gave us



Corona Virus, Covid’19 hit the country Nigeria, hard in March and April, causing a whole lot of things to be put on hold as a result of this deadly virus, Virus are meant to be small organisms that cannot be seen with the natural eye, save the use of machineries, like a microscope, right? However, this Virus grew in its capacities and shut down economies, and that says a lot.

  1. Build capacity: its not about how you are now, or what people see you as, it’s about how big you dream of and picture yourself.
    The virus grew –  Growth is not static and cannot be hidden, growth is also deliberate. The Virus grew so great and shut down economies, killed some just by the fear of it and destroyed a lot of lives.
  2. It is within you, those potentials and ideologies that can yield more than you imagine, its within, if you can be deliberate about growing, you can take on the world, and instead of crippling economies, you can make then stronger!
  3. People love to be associated with success and greatness, if you choose to grow great in the little and unseen capacity you’ve found, develop it and build strategies, holding in high regard your secret place you’re ready to soar at eagle’s pace.
  4. The secret place is where ideas are discovered, Christians call the secret place a place of prayer, study of the word of God and meditation, others call the secret place a place of meditation and where you can clearly reason, which ever one you choose to call it, no enterprise grows large without a secret place.
  5. So the virus put a stop work order on a lot of things, it also benefitted quite a number of people greatly.
  6. Rest: Many individuals working white-collar jobs have practically become slaves to their employers, stay-at-home merely gave them breathing space, although its quite unfortunate because the verdict was soon changed to work-from-home but isn’t that way better than work-at-office or store?
  7. Family time: the lockdown gave a lot of people time to spend with families. It is no news that some kids don’t know their parents or one parents because before the wake up in the morning, the parents have gone to work, and they stay out till after the kids have slept if one isn’t careful, one could affirm that these said parents and kids ate playing a game of “hide and go seek”.
  8. Versatility: the Lockdown period gave people a lot of time on their plate to learn new courses online, it also made digital marketing the order of the day. People broke the internet with their numerous creativity and added fame to themselves.
  9. My Instagram was hacked😂😂 I guess learning new things comes with the need for experimentation. Some person in Abuja hacked my 4 years old Instagram account and I haven’t been able to retrieve it till date.
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