Masters / Master's (spelling for academic degree)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by DiamondTino, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. DiamondTino Senior Member

    Cardiff (Wales)
    British English - French
    ...as I often come across both spellings, which is quite confusing.
     
  2. ARC26 Member

    UK
    UK, English
    It's difficult to say, but I think both may be acceptable.

    Ideas, anyone?
     
  3. Kurisuru Senior Member

    UK - Wales.
    English
  4. ARC26 Member

    UK
    UK, English
    So that means the degree in question belongs to the person holding it. In the plural then, would it be "masters' degrees?"
     
  5. DiamondTino Senior Member

    Cardiff (Wales)
    British English - French
    Should we trust Wikipedia is the question.
    :confused:
     
  6. Kurisuru Senior Member

    UK - Wales.
    English
    Yes, that's correct.

    The apostrophe(') indicates possession.

    So I don't see why we shouldn't trust Wikipedia. :confused:
     
  7. DiamondTino Senior Member

    Cardiff (Wales)
    British English - French
    Because there are often mistakes on Wikipedia - and especially spelling mistakes.
    Then, I also tend to believe that the spelling should be 'Master's Degree', but I need a confirmation as it is for my cv.
    Anyway thanks to all of you so far.
     
  8. Kurisuru Senior Member

    UK - Wales.
    English
  9. ARC26 Member

    UK
    UK, English
    Having looked at a few university websites I see that both spellings are used, although that doesn't mean they are both correct.

    Probably best to go with Master's, unless the Oxford University Department of English website isn't to be trusted.
     
  10. molan315 New Member

    English--USA
    I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd reply anyway. "Master's Degree" is correct, though it is not often used correctly.

    More than one degree belonging to more than one person would be "Masters' Degrees," while more than one degree belonging to the same person would be "Master's Degrees."
     
  11. PaulTR Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English - Canada
    Looks like the Oxford Department of English has changed their stance on this issue since that post (see screenshot)... That said I'm still partial to "Master's," and it remains more than twice as frequent according to Google.

    (While we're at it, let's note too that "Master degree" is definitively incorrect—since this thread is in a French-English forum and I know that people in France are often confused by the official adoption of the singular in French.)

    Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 22.26.34.jpg
     
  12. Katajojo

    Katajojo New Member

    English
    This is an old thread, but the proper, informal spelling is: master's degree. It is not capitalized, ever, unless at the beginning of a sentence, and it always uses the apostrophe because it is posessive.

    This confusion has arisen, because the formal possessive way of writing the word, (without an apostrophe and capitalized), is when followed by the word, "of." It takes the format, "Master of," for example: Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Music, etc. This is the format which is always capitalized, and always without apostrophe, because the word "of," is what makes it possessive instead of the apostrophe.

    There are two forms of possessive: 1. use the word "of," or 2. use an apostrophe. When using the informal, without the word "of," the apostrophe must be used. There is no other choice. The term, "master's degree," is always the proper form. It is NEVER: masters, Masters, Master's of, or master's of.

    It is either: Master of, or master's, (capitalized if at the beginning of a sentence.) There are no other proper forms.
     

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