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#1
Old 08-22-2002, 10:37 PM
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Son's of Bitches vs Son of a Bitches

Which is it? I would think that proper english would be Son's of Bitches.

Much like referring to sister's of my wife - Sister's in-law. Saying "sister in law's" refer's to possesion right?
#2
Old 08-22-2002, 10:46 PM
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try:

sons of bitches (multiple offspring, mutiply mothers)

sons of bitch (multiple offspring, single mother)
#3
Old 08-22-2002, 11:22 PM
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Re: Son's of Bitches vs Son of a Bitches

Quote:
Originally posted by Omnipresent
Which is it? I would think that proper english would be Son's of Bitches.
ARGH! Give over with the apostrophes!

Sons is the plural of son. Son's means belonging to Son.
#4
Old 08-23-2002, 12:34 AM
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"Son of a bitches" is what you say if you're an idiot.
#5
Old 08-23-2002, 12:50 AM
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I believe the plural of "son of a bitch" is "sons of a bitch".
#6
Old 08-23-2002, 01:07 AM
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nitpick: "son's", in addition to meaning "belonging to son" as duly noted by scarabus, can also be a contraction for "son is" or even "son has". But remember, adding an 's' to the ending of a word does not by default portend the inclusion of a preceding apostrophe. Such misconceptions can lead to changes in the meaning of a sentence! "The son's arrived" vs. "The sons arrived".

Anyhoo, "sons of bitches" sounds the best to my ear.
#7
Old 08-23-2002, 01:12 AM
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William Saffire may prefer "sons of of a bitch" but I've always gone with sumbitch which works on multiple levels
#8
Old 08-23-2002, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Padeye
William Saffire may prefer "sons of of a bitch" but I've always gone with sumbitch which works on multiple levels
Off on a tangent: William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior.
#9
Old 08-23-2002, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Space Vampire
"Son of a bitches" is what you say if you're an idiot.
Gee, like anyone's looking for your approval

We've had this subject before, and let me recap what I believe.

Yes, "sons of a bitch" or "sons of bitches" is technically correct.
However, "sonnuvabitches" is perfectly acceptible in my opinion. I've seen it in print and speech by esteemed writers (sorry, no cites, but this is not central to my point) and there's no convincing reason I can think of which would preclude one from using "son-of-a-bitches."

Quick, what's the plural of "culdesac?"
That's right. "Culsdesac" is technically correct. "Culdesacs," which I'd reckon the lot of you would use provided you ever needed this word in the plural, is also correct.

The dictionary, at least dictionary.com, lists "sons of bitches" as the plural. I think "sons of bitches" probably does enjoy considerable more popularity than "son-of-a-bitches," but the key distinction is how people parse the word. People who append the plural marker at the end of the phrase see the phrase as one syntactical unit and feel comfortable with the plural marker there. Others, obviously, still parse the individual words and put the plural marker on the noun heading the phrase. Both make sense to me.

Noted linguist Steve Pinker makes a similar argument in one of his books. Some people say "mothers in law"; some say "mother-in-laws." What about "spoonful"? Should it be "spoonsful"? Perhaps "spoonfuls"? Or "Spoons full"? Do you order "two chili con carnes" or "two chilis con carne"? Two pies-a-la-mode, two pie-a-la-modes, or two pies aux modes? Why "still lifes" and not "still lives"? Why not "drives-by," as in "The brothers were killed in separate drives-by." It all depends on how we parse these phrases. Whether we see the head and pluralize that, or whether we see it as a unit and pluralize the unit.
#10
Old 08-23-2002, 06:08 AM
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"Culdesacs" is correct?

Maybe if you're... well, I hesitate to say "idiot", since it's been done already, but I see the phrase "cul de sac" almost every day (on streetsigns warning of dead-end roads), and it's never squished into one word. At best, it's hyphenated into cul-de-sac.

You can slap on an irregular plural form, if you like, since you've already created an irregular singular form.

As for irregular apostrophe use, I find it mildly annoying, myself, though I chuckle when I see thread references that read "when I read Eker's post..."

"Sons of bitches" is fine when you mean multiple nasty people from multiple family backgrounds.
#11
Old 08-23-2002, 06:12 AM
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Actually the correct form is "Songs of Bitches"
#12
Old 08-23-2002, 06:50 AM
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Mea culpa, Bryan. I meant "cul-de-sacs" and "culs-de-sac."
The point still stands. "Culs-de-sac" is the "proper" plural. I cannot imaging anyone using this word. And, yes, I have heard it used in the plural, as in "That neighborhood has lots of cul-de-sacs."
#13
Old 08-23-2002, 08:53 AM
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Re: Re: Son's of Bitches vs Son of a Bitches

Quote:
Originally posted by scarabus


ARGH! Give over with the apostrophes!

Sons is the plural of son. Son's means belonging to Son.

Ok Scarabus, riddle me this - If there are three women who are each considered to be a Bitch and I were referring to their sons, would I say "Son's of Bitches" because it indicates that the sons are posessive to the bitch? Or, should it be "Sons of Bitches" because it indicates more than one son of a bitch?

Hmm?
#14
Old 08-23-2002, 09:07 AM
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The sons don't possess the bitch.

And if you really, really want to use a possessive there, you have to include what the hell's being possessed. If you think the bitch is being possessed, then it's "sons' bitches".
#15
Old 08-23-2002, 09:10 AM
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How 'bout dem bitchin' bitches? Their sons would be "da bitches' sons". The bitche's have the apostrophe's not the son's.
#16
Old 08-23-2002, 09:13 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Son's of Bitches vs Son of a Bitches

Quote:
Originally posted by Omnipresent
Ok Scarabus, riddle me this - If there are three women who are each considered to be a Bitch and I were referring to their sons, would I say "Son's of Bitches" because it indicates that the sons are posessive to the bitch? Or, should it be "Sons of Bitches" because it indicates more than one son of a bitch?
Hmm?
"Son's of Bitches" is totally grammatically wrong and is technically meaningless. How can it indicate the sons being "possessive to" (possessed by) the Bitch with the apostrophe-s added to "Son"? Now, if one were to say "Bitch's Son" or "Bitches' Sons", it would indicate what you seem to be getting at.

"Sons of Bitches" is a correct plural.
#17
Old 08-23-2002, 11:25 AM
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Now while I defend both "sons of bitches" and "son-of-a-bitches," "son's of bitches" or "son's of a bitch" is absolutely indefensible. Now if the "son of a bitch" posseses something, like a car, you can say

"I totalled the son-of-a-bitch's car."

Just like you'd say

"My sister-in-law's new boyfriend"
or
"The Duke of Earl's mansion"

"Sister's-in-law" makes no sense.
"Sister's in-law" would mean "the in-law of your sister." For example, you can say "I am my sister's in-law." Now why anyone would want to construct such a heinous sentence is beyond my power to surmise, but that's the only sense in which the possessive on "sister" would make sense.

There is no sensical way to parse "son's of a bitch," though.
#18
Old 08-23-2002, 11:31 AM
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Ahem...the example sentence should read (for reasons of logic, not grammar):

"My wife is my sister's in-law."

Of course, this would also make it sound as if "my wife" is the only in-laws my sister has. So perhaps:

"The Smith family are my sister's in-laws."

Feh.
#19
Old 08-23-2002, 01:16 PM
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Ain't it great that we can have meaningless bantor like this? You people are some funny sons-of-bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!
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