Don't think that the irony is lost on me. This morning I rant about would-be writers pestering me and this evening I'm asking a question that would-be writers might be able to answer. Alternatively, this one is for those with degrees in punctuation or jobs in editing and are willing to answer the question of an aging amateur hack.
Is there anybody out there who can explain the following?
I’m currently reading ‘London Fields’ by Martin Amis and at the beginning there’s a bit that has me confused. He writes:
“There followed some more information about the perfumes, ‘Scandal’, ‘Outrage’, and minor lines called Mirage, Disguise, Duplicity and Sting, and beneath, in double quotes, accompanied by an address and telephone number, with misplaced apostrophes: Keith’s the Name, Scent’s the Game.” (Martin Amis, ‘London Fields’, p. 12)
Now, I’ve been pondering this all day and I still haven’t figured it out but what ‘misplaced apostrophes’?
I thought an apostrophe indicates either possession or omission. Here, in both cases, doesn’t the apostrophe represent the missing ‘i’ of ‘is’? ‘Keith is the name, Scent is the Game’? Or have it all wrong and I must go back to basics and learn how to use an apostrophe?
Of course, there might be some super intelligent textual game the narrator or Amis is playing.
And while I’m about it: why are ‘Scandal’ and ‘Outrage’ enclosed in single inverted commas but Mirage, Disguise, Duplicity and String go unpunctuated?