Apostrophe for two people

theoriphobe

Member
English England
Hi. Can anyone offer advice on the apostrophe in this sentence?

The rules of the rational-theoretical game are given away in the title of Glaser and Strauss’s The Discovery of Grounded Theory.

Is my apostrophe in the right place? (It's the book of both of them, not just Strauss, so the 'singular' apostrophe doesn't look right. :confused: )
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That's the way I've always done it: Brealey and Myers's (or now, Brealey, Myers and Allen's) Principles of Corporate Finance, for example. But I don't know the grammatical rule on this.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    You're correct, theoriphobe.

    I found this rule for compound possessives (found here):
    When you are showing possession with compounded nouns, the apostrophe's placement depends on whether the nouns are acting separately or together.
    • Miguel's and Cecilia's new cars are in the parking lot.
      This means that each of them has at least one new car and that their ownership is a separate matter.
    • Miguel and Cecilia's new cars are in the parking lot.
      This construction tells us that Miguel and Cecilia share ownership of these cars. The possessive (indicated by 's) belongs to the entire phrase, not just to Cecilia.
    Personally, I would use Myers' instead of Myers's, but that seems to be a matter of personal preference (same source):
    Some writers will say that the -s after Charles' is not necessary and that adding only the apostrophe (Charles' car) will suffice to show possession. Consistency is the key here: if you choose not to add the -s after a noun that already ends in s, do so consistently throughout your text. William Strunk's Elements of Style recommends adding the 's.
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Personally, I would use Myers' instead of Myers's, but that seems to be a matter of personal preference (same source):
    The basis of the "s's" is that a proper name is not a plural noun, even if it ends in "s". The usage seems to be dying out, but some people whose name ends in "s" insist on it, while others don't seem to care. So I tend to use it, as the course least likely to give offense.
     
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