How to write proper nouns in plural

Discussion in 'English Only' started by arugunu, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. arugunu Member

    I was just wondering how to use the apostrophe when writing plural forms of proper names.

    -All Jeffrey's are not supposed to be inconsiderate, it would be silly to generalise this.
    -There are many John's in the jazz scene, and it goes without saying that they are all great.

    I suppose the apostrophes are in the right positions in the above sentences.
    But what about the plural of "Angus"?
    Is "Angus's" the correct spelling?
    And it should be pronounced as the same with the "passes". Am i right?
  2. No arugunu. You don't use apostrophe when you create plural. Thus:
    -All Jeffreys are not supposed to be inconsiderate, it would be silly to generalise this.
    -There are many Johns in the jazz scene, and it goes without saying that they are all great.

    Apostrophe marks possessive case, not plural.

    Regards :)
  3. arugunu Member

    Wow, it seems like Google has misled me.
    Then, i should spell the plural form of "Angus" as "Anguses", right?
    I'll be glad if you clarify this one as well.
    Thanks in advance Majlo.
  4. maxiogee Banned

    One Angus = 1 man named Angus
    Two Anguses = 2 men named Angus

    Angus has, for me, no plural - the men named Angus are what is plural.
  5. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    I agree with majlo, but unfortunately, the New York Times is now confusing the issue by using apostrophes to form the plural of acronyms and abbreciations, e.g., Many CEO's are considered to be overpaid.

    Ick. :(

  6. Louanna007

    Louanna007 Senior Member

    English United States
    Wow that's strange. File a complaint!
  7. maxiogee Banned

    An apostrophe is also used to mark omissions - isn't it?
    The apostrophe in CEO's (much as I object to it) is valdly there - indicating the omission of fficer
  8. DavyBCN Senior Member

    UK - English
    Interesting point. Given my surname, I always thought the phrase was "keeping up with the Joneses". I cannot remember the last time I saw it in writing and haven't a clue whether I have written it correctly. Any ideas?
  9. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    The NY Times has received plenty of complaints, but their editorial board maintains that it is an appropriate stylistic choice.

    Maxi, I respectifully disagree. Apostrophes are used to contract two words, not to idicate the omission of letters in an abbreviation. I could see writing "The CEO's gone down the tubes" contracting "CEO has" but the use of this form to indicate plurals just bugs! :rolleyes:

  10. maxiogee Banned

    I stand, awaiting a nudge, on the precipice of correction. It is an uncomfortable place, where the winds of doubt whip around my ankles!
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The point about the apostrophe standing for omission is kind of true, but not in abbreviations, so the reason for CEO's as plural of CEO can't be omission of letters. Otherwise it would be C'E'O's

    Checking my usual sources:
    HERE, "... we never use an apostrophe in writing plural forms."
  12. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    The NYT uses apostrophes in plurals of decades and abbreviations in ALL-CAP headlines to avoid confusion. It carries over into text for consistency.
  13. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    English has to be about the most confusing language in the whole world even to the English, but it's fascinating isn't it. As I've said elsewhere, you learn something new every day, even about your own lingo!

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