Here, you may find a call to arms of sorts by the Swedish most prominent telco. I was born Russian, and I live in Sweden, so English is just about my third language. And so the following line does not sound right in my head:

Leadership is our drive. What's your?

Well, I want to say, what's yours? but that doesn't seem to go with implied drive. But for some reason it sounds really wrong to me. I think it's idiomatic in inspiro-speak to leave out the drive-part, so I'm not complaining about omitted subjects and fragmentation.

So is this wrong? And if it's not — why do I feel like ending the punchline with what's your? sounds much worse than ending it with what's yours? ..?

  • 1
    While gramatically incorrect it got 35 people to look at their site and think about their slogan just from here in the last hour. Personally that slogan would bug the crap out of me. I can not see doing business with them.
    – Chad
    Aug 23 '11 at 16:28
  • @Chad, I'm not of the "any publicity is good publicity" persuasion. It's just appalling that huge companies say nothing so poorly.
    – Gleno
    Aug 23 '11 at 18:02
  • I think this may have been a temp page or a work in progress. This does not seem to be their current slogan.
    – Chad
    Aug 23 '11 at 18:13
  • @Chad, It's live on their recent facebook promo, under careers
    – Gleno
    Aug 23 '11 at 18:25
  • That's the way they say it in Swedish, maybe? You should know.
    – Kris
    May 21 '12 at 21:57

You're correct, it should be "What's yours?" not "What's your?". Your is a possessive adjective, and needs to be accompanied by a noun — so "What's your drive?" would be correct. Without the noun, you should use the possessive pronoun, "yours".

I       my              mine 
you     your            yours 
he      his             his
she     her             hers
it      its             its 
we      our             ours 
they    their           theirs 

(from http://www.easyenglish.com/lesson.asp?whose.txt)

I would also take issue with the first sentence; it should be "Leadership is our driver". When used as a noun, drive isn't something you're driven by, it's something you drive on.

So the corrected slogan would read:

Leadership is our driver. What's yours?

  • Thank you very much for clearing it up! Although they'd probably wouldn't go for the driver-bit. Also I ruined your 1337-rep, sorry. :) :)
    – Gleno
    Aug 23 '11 at 15:04
  • I would take issue with the semantics of this slogan, as well as the grammar. Frankly, I think both leadership and drive are largely vacuous jargon-words in this context, and if they mean anything here they mean about the same thing anyway. Aug 23 '11 at 15:16

"What's your?" is incorrect. "Your" is a possessive adjective.

So, to say "What is your?" is like saying "What is her?" or "What is his?" It doesn't make sense because there's no noun in the sentence.

"Yours", however, is a pronoun. So, saying "What is yours?" makes sense because there's a noun in the sentence.

  • 1
    Strangely What is her sounds much worse than What is his, maybe I'm in too deep. :)
    – Gleno
    Aug 23 '11 at 15:06
  • 1
    Hmm... I think you're right about "What is his?" since that could also be a pronoun. Nice catch.
    – Richard
    Aug 23 '11 at 15:07

'Yours' as previously answered. But 'drive' is fine and should not be changed to 'driver'. This makes the slogan less about the attainment of the goal and more about being a passenger in the process.

Pronoun 'yours' aside. This is marketing language so is allowed/expected to be creative and noticeable, even break rules (?), and is a register in itself. Otherwise, Apple should be 'Think[ing] differently'.

Sometimes a 'wrong' message is more powerful than any correct notion of grammar.


It's perfectly correct; the "what's yours" is supposed to make you think about their slogan and to challenge you to be as good as them.

"Leadership is our drive. What's yours?" means "We work hard for leadership. What do you work hard for?"

It's not really idiomatic so much as clichéd business speak.

  • 3
    Ye, wait a second, that's not what I was getting at. If you note there's no s on the end of that your in their original, and the missing s is confusing me. Are you saying there shouldn't be an s?
    – Gleno
    Aug 23 '11 at 14:53
  • @Gleno - sorry I inlined the 's' automatically
    – mgb
    Aug 23 '11 at 15:09

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