March 30th, 2011 / 5:25 pm
Behind the Scenes

Vicarious 7th Grade

This is a picture of three people whose identities are either already known or shall be implicated herein. What follows — not the picture, which happened in a cool city (not Dublin), but related discourse — took place within the last hour between (a) this contributor, (b) the lady in mention, and, separately, (c) our managing editor, a kind man who often offers emotional and grammatical counsel.


me:  grammar help

you and ted’s or your and ted’s

ryan call:  you and ted’s

you and ted’s is fine

ive always been taught that in compound subjects, just make the noun closest to the object possessive

but it also depends

on what is happened

is it

You and ted’s dog are having sex?


You and ted’s dogs are having sex.


in first one, you is not possessive, it s only teds dog

in second


let me start over

just show me the sentence?

does the object belong to both ‘you and ted’?

Sent at 1:53 PM on Wednesday

me:  i don’t get it

i don’t understand

ryan call:  let me start over

what is the setnence?

like it depends on the context

me:  “given the tempo implicated by you and blake’s cha-cha-ing fists, it is reasonable to think that Gian supplemented such enterprise with the auspices of fake.”

ryan call:  so, in that case, BLAKE and YOU cannot share fists


your and blake’s fists is correct

me:  omg

so i screwed up

ryan call:  ugh

i mean


i cannot share a body part with another person

but i can own a house with another person

me:  i’m lost

ryan call:  ok

let me try another way

me:  what is an object

ryan call:  haha

me:  like noun

ryan call:  ok


let me find a website

me:  no dont

i don’t get them either

ryan call:  k

when u say

‘Ryan’s and Blake’s cars are in garage’

that means ryan’s car and blake’s car are both in the garage

me:  ok

got it

ryan call:  ‘Ryan and Blake’s car is in the garage’

means we own the same car

me:  ok

i got it

ryan call:  k

me:  and…

ryan call:  and…

and what?

me:  lol

oh i get it

so you and blake’s fists is if we shared fists

ryan call:  right

but u cannot share fists

me:  your and blake’s fist is each has own fists

ryan call:  yes

essentially means ‘your fist and blake’s fist’

me:  so your and ted’s car is one car

ryan call:  yes

me:  you and ted’s car is two cars

ryan call:  no no no


me:  dude

ryan call:  your and ted’s cars

‘car’ has to be plural in that isntance

me:  fuck

ryan call:  fuck

wtf is happening

you and ted’s car

is one car

that yo uboth own

your and ted’s cars is two cars

your and ted’s car doesnt make sense


everything i just typed

me:  stop

ryan call:  sounds so retarded

like now i am so confused

u have me confused

me:  you are contradicitng urself

ryan call:  i used to udnerstand this

until we started this chat


  1. Clark Knowles

      Now I’m confused. Is someone having sex with Ted’s dog? Is Ted in the picture. Grammar is so hard.

  2. Jimmy Chen
  3. alex crowley

      I think I understood this more than Kitchell’s last post.

  4. Omar De Col

      this was funny

  5. Omar De Col

      and interesting

  6. Omar De Col

      and informative

  7. karl taro

      remember when aerosmith released done with mirrors, and nobody cared, but later, after their monstrous comeback with pump and all that, you could look back and say, wow, i guess done with mirrors really was when their come back started.

  8. Omar De Col

      idk idgi tbh but no ones online on facebook and i just wanted someone to talk to

  9. Blake Butler

      sweet Wallace-ian intro JiChe

  10. Blake Butler

      sweet Wallace-ian intro JiChe

  11. Michael Filippone

      That’s a passage from the Pale King, right?

  12. Michael Filippone

      Your comment didn’t show up until my browser refreshed when I posted mine. Now my comment looks lame and unoriginal. Damn you.

  13. Michael Filippone

      Your comment didn’t show up until my browser refreshed when I posted mine. Now my comment looks lame and unoriginal. Damn you.

  14. Michael Filippone

      This was a reply to Blake’s comment, but somehow got posted as just a regular comment.
      I feel like a commenting failure tonight.

  15. Gavin St. Ours

      This is the “Who’s on First” of grammar.

  16. Gavin St. Ours

      I think it’s possible that someone is having sex with one or more of Ted’s dogs. Grammar is such a perv.

  17. Janey Smith

      Art has become the domain in which politics happen. In other words: Jimmy, will you go on a date with me?

  18. Amy McDaniel

      i think it’s time for another grammar quiz

  19. Ryan Call

      please help

  20. Amy McDaniel

      you had it right…one of the times. use both apostrophes for invididual possession, only the latter apostrophe for joint possession, so:
      Jimmy’s and blake’s fists (they each have fists)
      jimmy and blake’s hoodies (they share all their hoodies)

  21. drew kalbach

      i learned something today, thanks guys!

  22. drew kalbach

      jimmy and blake’s fist would imply that they are conjoined twins attached at the fist. just throwing that out there.

  23. Amy McDaniel


  24. Ryan Call

      thank you. i feel less anxious about this now.

  25. Ryan Call


  26. Jimmy Chen

      i get that, but pls correlate that with you vs. your in the same manner you just did

  27. Amy McDaniel

      your and blake’s fists = separate fists
      you and blake’s hoodies = shared hoodies

      wherever you’d put a ‘s if it’s a noun, you’d use a possessive pronoun to replace it (my, your, his/her, our, their instead of i, you, he/she, we, they), so jimmy’s and blake’s = his and blake’s/your and blake’s, whereas jimmy and blake’s = he and blake’s/you and blake’s

  28. Jimmy Chen

      wow you cleared this shit up, thanks!

  29. deadgod

      Concerning that first picture: cigarettes ‘brushed or ‘shopped out? for the stamp?

  30. deadgod

      you and bob’s kidneys

      secreted your and bob’s urine

      and discharged it on to

      your and bob’s bladders

      to be micturated in you and bob’s pissing contest

      on your and bob’s feet


      it was you and bob’s urine

      on your and bob’s disinfected feet

  31. deadgod

      There is reasonable disagreement on the terminology; some, including me, prefer to call “my” a possessive adjective:

      personal pronouns: I, you, he, she, it, we, they

      possessive adjectives: my, your, his, her, its, our, their

      possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, (its [almost never]), ours, theirs

      The reason for this preference – well, my reason – is that the ‘possessive adjectives’ go next to their nouns or those nouns’ adjectives, as distinct from the ‘possessive pronouns’, which go where their nouns would be repeated. – like so:

      It is my calico dog. (possessive adjective) The calico dog is mine. (possessive pronoun, taking the place of ‘my calico dog’)

      There are other nomenclatural varieties/debates with respect to this zone of grammar. This wikipedia page has a useful discussion of some of the diverging perspectives: .

  32. Franklin Goodish

      KGM is awesome

  33. Ryan Call

      thank you, deadgod.

  34. Jimmy Chen

      may my urn be next to deadgod’s 4ever; i want more deadgod in my life w/o him getting too close, is that possible

  35. M. Kitchell

      what happened to the comment about blake’s pronounced sack

  36. Amy McDaniel

      I wasn’t aware of that disagreement. As a teacher, I think I would still prefer to call them possessive pronouns, which is accepted.

      A pronoun replaces a noun, so “its noun” would seem to be the one it replaces. So, Jimmy’s fist would become his fist. His replaces Jimmy’s. The case of the pronoun matches the case of the noun being replaced. I definitely see where the argument for calling them adjectives arises, that is, because they don’t act as standalone nouns as other pronouns do. But to me, that is splitting hairs. “My” and “his” look like pronouns. I would love to be able to explain to my students why they might not be pronouns though they look like pronouns, but I don’t have that kind of time in class. In general, too, I try to avoid teaching grammar nomenclature except when absolutely necessary. As long as my students are using possessives correctly, and their meaning is clear, I don’t care if they know what to call it.

      But, since I’m interested in this stuff, I’m happy to learn of the disagreement.

  37. deadgod

      pronounced ‘sock’??

  38. deadgod

      chillaxin ’til teach be axin

      your choo’s are safe from the likes of me

  39. deadgod

      Yes, the pronominal conversation – for example, at that wiki site – is definitely the grafix for a shampoo commercial. I guess all of the study of a language qua language is in praise of follycles.

      The standalone-‘vs.’-modifer-position thing is The Thing of what to call (these) pronominal derivatives.

      – but the Jimmy’s in “Jimmy’s fist” is, itself, a ‘possessive adjective’ and not a ‘noun’, right?? – a possessive adjective derived from a ‘proper noun’ and taking the place of a noun phrase which would have been in the form of a prepositional phrase (of John).

      The reason for calling both “my” and “mine” ‘possessive pronouns’ is their shared and obvious pronominal stem, in addition to their both being ‘possessive’ determiners [another quarrel ha ha]. As I say, to me, the positional difference, in this case, is worth a terminological distinction.

      I know it’s tough with brattily uncomprehending kids, but, the game-nature of (human, anyway) knowledge hardwired into them, they’ll – most of them’ll – catch both the practical negligibility and yet the real fact of this kind of distinction.

      Quiz the first day after vacation! If you don’t do well in my class, you’ll be a failure for the rest of your life!!

  40. Kyle Minor

      deadgod’s a lot more useful than the “Living God.” Also, I prefer his approach to capitalization.