Monday, May 31, 2010

The Apple of My Eye

The Daily Beast runs a story today speculating on what the author believes to be the imminent downfall of the  Apple empire. (My favorite passage, pull-quoted in the piece: "Surely Jobs will one day tire of wielding his charismatic authority as CEO of Apple. And there is no woman or man alive who could fill that man's turtleneck.")

Speaking of "that man's turtleneck," there is another possessive construction later in the article that doubles back on itself to ill effect. The penultimate sentence reads:
The iPad has proven a success, but Microsoft is chalking up modest successes of its own, from the slow but steady success of Bing to the promising schemes of chief software architect Ray Ozzie's to establish Microsoft as the king of cloud computing. 
You can talk about "Ray Ozzie's promising schemes", or you can talk about "the promising schemes of Ray Ozzie"; but to speak of "the promising schemes of Ray Ozzie's" is to wear a belt with suspenders, rhetorically speaking. In other words, in the example above, of is doing the possessive heavy lifting, and doesn't need the help of the apostrophed name.