In any case, in my reading I stumbled upon the following sentence:
"It wasn't as good an address as her husband's: a purpose-built apartment block off Shepherd's Bush Green, with one of those front gardens that is no one's responsibility except the neighborhood dogs'."I paused over that plural possessive, with its apostrophe right before the period. And I must say, rarely have I seen a mark of punctuation seem to call attention to itself, to its correctness and its fastidiousness, as this little, even itty bitty, mark. "How smart! how splendidly edited am I!" this bit of prose proclaims, so self-satisfied. Smug, even.
Why? Why end a sentence with an apostrophe? Why not
". . . for which no one takes responsibility but the neighborhood dogs"?or
" . . . which seemed to have been tended only by the neighborhood dogs"?I like the sentence ending with the word "dogs"--it's emphatic and snappy. Well-played, Ms. Dunant! And I suppose as a person who takes more than the normal amount of pleasure in punctuation, I should be happy with this flourish, this crisp yet ostentatious apostrophe. But I say, this level of conspicuous show-offery becomes no one.