Originally posted by jonkster:
yes you are right... "races end" would typically mean races do end.
"Birds fly." is a complete sentence - that is what birds do... fly
"Birds' fly" is the fly belonging to more than one bird (as in "Gadflies are many birds' favourite flies."
"Bird's fly" is the zipper at the front of a particular bird's trousers.
"The bird's trouser's fly" is totally different in meaning from "The bird's trousers fly" :D
Well, since very few birds wear trousers, it's not really a big issue, is it? :)
Anyway, the real problem isn't apostrophes. The real problem, the one that could end civilization, as we know it, is the widespread misuse of commas! There, are, so, many, rules, relating, to, comma, usage! Where to put them all!?
Oh, the humanity!