Plural versus possessive at Harvard

In Teaching Information Security there was a discussion of the fact that young people at a Florida state system university rejected the distinction between plural and possessive. A friend sent me the following:

Trying to wrap my head around my MBB offer

My first two years at Harvard, I was really focused on getting a good offer once I graduated. I think Harvard really acculturated me to the idea that one of those offers is one of the big goals of undergrad.

This summer, I got a full time offer from one of the big three consulting firms, for way more money than I thought, around $140k in total comp.

When I read the offer letter, I felt deeply ambivalent. Obviously I am stoked, and really want to work at the firm. However, it feels weird to make many times more my friends who are graduating from great non-ivy’s and more than my parents, who both make six figures.

For those of you who have received similar offers, how do you feel about salary? And for those who have already graduated, how has your thinking evolved?

(For those who are more familiar with honest labor, “MBB” is for McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. Separately, doesn’t he/she/ze/they realize that $140k will soon be the price of a Diet Coke?)

Note the highlighted section above, in which the fresh Harvard graduate struggles to write “Ivies”.

From Hussain Altamimi, a young person bright enough to work as a legislative assistant for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s primary thought-leader (Fox):

Israel is a racist European ethnostate built on stolen land from it’s indigenous population!

(Can anyone think of a country besides Israel that was built on land stolen by Europeans from an indigenous population? Are the people in the country that you’re thinking of doing anything to restore the land to the rightful indigenous owners?)

Is it time for Joe Biden to outlaw the apostrophe and save us from ourselves?


  • “California Prison Academy: Better Than a Harvard Degree” (WSJ, 2011): Harvard grads can expect to earn $49,897 fresh out of college and $124,759 after 20 years. … As a California prison guard, you can make six figures in overtime and bonuses alone. … Over 120,000 people apply every year, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, but the academy only enrolls about 900. That’s an acceptance rate of less than 1%. Harvard’s is 6.2%.

7 thoughts on “Plural versus possessive at Harvard

  1. Does not he realize that 140 K total compensation IS low 6 figures? It is really hard to make six figures and total less then 140K compensation with paid vacations. employee contribution to 401K and other pension and meager bonus/profit sharing. Or did he try to communicate that sum of his parents compensation is in low six figures? Many more educational issues then just distinction between plural and possessive.
    Anyway, if he finds himself overpaid after taxes he is free to volunteer to pay more tax.

  2. >>> From Hussain Altamimi, a young person bright enough to work as a legislative assistant for >>>Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s primary thought-leader

    the biggest enemy of the USA is the USA itself – can’t believe these clowns made it into the mainstream political echelons

  3. > Can anyone think of a country besides Israel that was built on land stolen by Europeans from an indigenous population?

    One of these countries is a theocracy that has just expelled a Serb for being impure and a threat to God and the public order.

    What would AOC do if Israel were handed over to the Palestinians? Move there, wear a hijab, be a housewife and forego virus spreading parties with her 2SLBGTQQIA+ friends?

    • Anon: I wasn’t thinking of Australia, but you do highlight that when they return the land to the Aborigines they will be returning a pure sanctified land unsullied by anti-Science points of view.

  4. You can take comfort that the land will soon be ruled by patriots who will beat back the unpure as they did the Capitol police.

    • js: This comment leads to an idea for K-12 education in Democrat-controlled states and counties. Imagine a curriculum entirely built around the events of January 6. Math: “If a Trump supporter arrived at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 with 7 hand grenades and threw 3 of them at heroic Capitol Police officers, how many grenades does the Deplorable have left?” Physics: “Calculate the trajectory of AR-15 rounds fired by Trump supporters at Capitol Police officers during the January 6 insurrection.” English: “Find your favorite CNN article about the January 6, 2021 insurrection and explain why you like it.” Art: “Make a collage of Instagram posts from those who stood, virtually and from the safety of their COVID-19 quarantine bunkers, with the Capitol Police during the January 6 insurrection.” Music: “Using the 2SLGBTQQIA+ composer Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man as a model, write a piece celebrating the multi-year efforts by the FBI to hunt down every Republican who traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.”

  5. The most annoying reddit posts are guys saying they just got an unattainable job, they just won a lottery, or their comment got a reply from Greenspun, & then saying “I can’t handle being a superstar. What should I do?” They’re not asking for advice.

    The MBB superstar wrote that on a iphone, so obviously auto punctuation is broken. Why would a $3 trillion corporation make a working auto corrector?

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