Possessive - s' or s's with proper nouns - Chris' or Chris's dog?

gaer

Senior Member
US-English
elroy said:
I realize that this topic has been positively exhausted, but I still want to share my two cents.

I was taught at my American school that the 's was required after names ending with s, except for "ancient" or "Biblical" names like Jesus, Moses, Xerxes.
According to what I read and the rules I posted, even from a very open-minded source, these rules still seem to dominate in offical publications.
Perhaps I'm particularly adamant about this issue because my own name is Elias, and I can't stand it when people write Elias'.
So without the extra "s", you feel as though people would think that "Elias' dog" would be pronounced "Elias dog"? Hmm…

Well, obviously some people have really strong feelings about:

Elias's, Chris's, 1900s/1900's, etc.

I have no strong feelings at all, but I do wonder why exceptions were made in the first place for biblical names. And if "Elias's" is pronounced "Eliasez", I still wonder how the possessive form of Jesus and Moses is pronounced, regardless of punctuation! :)

Jesusez, Mosesez? I truly don't know!

Gaer

Gaer
 
  • Bancrows

    New Member
    Australia
    lotsalag said:
    In Australia, it's pretty common to write "Chris' dog". You rarely would see "Chris's dog". Any Australian feel free to disagree with me!

    No disagreement from this one. "Chris' dog" is the way I was taught, and "Chris's" looks terribly clumsy to me. I remember reading several strongly-worded letters to various editors protesting that the film (and the book) should have been entitled "Bridget Jones' Diary".
     

    Panpan

    Senior Member
    England, English
    This is what I was taught (in the UK). I don't guarantee it is correct.

    The Chris' dog is correct. It is both plural and possessive. It means there are two people, both called Chris, who jointly own a dog. Cf; the robins' nest.

    Apostrophe s is the possessive case, except where the possessor is plural.

    'Chris' is singular, therefore the possessive case is Chris's dog.

    Hope that helps

    Panpan
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    gaer said:
    If you search by using the flags, actually going to a different version of Google, the results are different than if you simply choose a country in advanced tools. Why the results are different I don't know!

    Gaer

    PS: Results 1 - 10 of about 5,850 for "Chris' brother" (UK)
    [...]
    Thanks for the tip, Gaer. I'd never done the comparison, and I don't know why different results either. Curiously, I find different results for the UK, but the same results with the two methods for Australia!

    Re PS: Oops. Reading your reply made me realise that I'd misread your post #48. I thought you were talking about two different things: 'results' and 'hits'. Sorry :eek:

    W :) :)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I posted this in another thread but I thought I'd put it here as it is relevant too -

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scotsloon has hit the nail on the head. "Drive-through" is a combination of verb + adverb. This makes it different from all your example in post number 3 which were all based on nouns.

    "Drive-through's" is definitely correct (with or without the apostrophe - this wasn't a mistake by the way, it is acceptable to use an apostrophe in forming a plural if it aids clarity, as here where the plural is being put on what is traditionally not a noun, viz "through").

    ps - Scotsloon, why have you named yourself such? I always seem to agree with what you say. Maybe I'm a loon and just don't know it.

    This is an important point as if clarity is aided it always seems reasonable to add an apostrophe to a plural. 1900's for example. This obviously doesn't make it a "posessive" apostrophe.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Panpan said:
    This is what I was taught (in the UK). I don't guarantee it is correct.

    The Chris' dog is correct. It is both plural and possessive. It means there are two people, both called Chris, who jointly own a dog. Cf; the robins' nest.

    Apostrophe s is the possessive case, except where the possessor is plural.

    'Chris' is singular, therefore the possessive case is Chris's dog.

    Hope that helps

    Panpan

    I agree, of course.

    As for "Chris' dog," though, if it means that there are two owners with the same name, shouldn't it be "the Chrises' dog"? (The plural of Chris is Chrises, not just Chris.)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    gaer said:
    According to what I read and the rules I posted, even from a very open-minded source, these rules still seem to dominate in offical publications.

    So without the extra "s", you feel as though people would think that "Elias' dog" would be pronounced "Elias dog"? Hmm…

    Well, obviously some people have really strong feelings about:

    Elias's, Chris's, 1900s/1900's, etc.

    I have no strong feelings at all, but I do wonder why exceptions were made in the first place for biblical names. And if "Elias's" is pronounced "Eliasez", I still wonder how the possessive form of Jesus and Moses is pronounced, regardless of punctuation! :)

    Jesusez, Mosesez? I truly don't know!

    Gaer

    Gaer

    I have heard "Jesusez" and "Mosesez" as well as "Jesus" and "Moses." I think it depends on how fast you're talking and how comfortable it sounds.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Wordsmyth said:
    Thanks for the tip, Gaer. I'd never done the comparison, and I don't know why different results either. Curiously, I find different results for the UK, but the same results with the two methods for Australia!

    Re PS: Oops. Reading your reply made me realise that I'd misread your post #48. I thought you were talking about two different things: 'results' and 'hits'. Sorry :eek:

    W :) :)
    Results (or hits) vary for so many reason, I've given up trying to figure it out!

    Gaer
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    timpeac said:
    I posted this in another thread but I thought I'd put it here as it is relevant too -

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Scotsloon has hit the nail on the head. "Drive-through" is a combination of verb + adverb. This makes it different from all your example in post number 3 which were all based on nouns.

    "Drive-through's" is definitely correct (with or without the apostrophe - this wasn't a mistake by the way, it is acceptable to use an apostrophe in forming a plural if it aids clarity, as here where the plural is being put on what is traditionally not a noun, viz "through").

    ps - Scotsloon, why have you named yourself such? I always seem to agree with what you say. Maybe I'm a loon and just don't know it.

    This is an important point as if clarity is aided it always seems reasonable to add an apostrophe to a plural. 1900's for example. This obviously doesn't make it a "posessive" apostrophe.
    Good point, Tim, and one I had not even considered. So much of the time it all comes down to common sense, doesn't it? :)

    Gaer
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    elroy said:
    I have heard "Jesusez" and "Mosesez" as well as "Jesus" and "Moses." I think it depends on how fast you're talking and how comfortable it sounds.
    Well, I truly did not know what other people consider to be more correct. The rule about Jesus' and Moses', if there is an extra ending, sort of throws off the logic of adding an 's for other singular plurals. After all these posts, it still seems to me that there is no clear right way, because the logic itself does not remain consistent. :)

    Gaer
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    gaer said:
    [...] After all these posts, it still seems to me that there is no clear right way, because the logic itself does not remain consistent. :)

    Gaer
    Indeed, Gaer

    (This point may have been raised earlier but 64 posts is a lot to check!) :

    Trying to explain the logic of apostrophes to English-learners, I've more than once seen furrowed brows when I tell them that "it's" is not a possessive, but that "its" is !!

    W :):)
     

    Juzza

    New Member
    Australia/English
    timpeac said:
    Erm te gato I don't understand your problem. It's not BE versus AE in the sense of a competition (at least not to my mind) but what's the point in pretending that there is no difference? At the end of the day, the evidence in this thread would lead us to believe that Yanks would write Chris' and Brits would write Chris's. I think that's an important point to make, if nothing else for the foreigners who might want to know the usage in the country they are in.

    Can I throw a bit of a spanner in the works and add another classification as such? Mine is Australian English and for all intents and purposes I'd say Chris' dog however more and more people are tending towards Chris's dog. It really does vary from person to person though it is still most common to say Chris' dog here. That is generally deemed correct.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    gaer said:
    Good point, Tim, and one I had not even considered. So much of the time it all comes down to common sense, doesn't it? :)

    Gaer

    Here is another one "pro's and cons". I don't view that first ' as abusive since to me pros would look funny.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    timpeac said:
    Here is another one "pro's and cons". I don't view that first ' as abusive since to me pros would look funny.

    Interesting... I've always written "pros and cons" without thinking twice...
     

    Drew

    New Member
    USA - English
    I don't have my style book in front of me (and it's too late to go looking for it), but I seem to remember that it has something to do with whether the "s" makes an "s" sound or a "z" sound. If I'm remembering it correctly, the "s" sound takes an "apostrophe s" and the "z" sound just takes an apostrophe. Comments?
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    I would simplify it..and just say..

    that dog belongs to Chris...:D

    and please tell Chris to take him for a walk, and give him a bath, he stinks!!

    tg;)
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Wordsmyth said:
    Indeed, Gaer

    (This point may have been raised earlier but 64 posts is a lot to check!) :

    Trying to explain the logic of apostrophes to English-learners, I've more than once seen furrowed brows when I tell them that "it's" is not a possessive, but that "its" is !!

    W :):)
    Actually, THIS is the one place where I feel as though I'm on solid ground, because of:

    his, hers, their, ours, its

    So this makes sense to me. :)

    But after all the rules I've read, it still seems as though the best advice is simply to choose a solution and stay as consistent as possible. :)

    Gaer
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    te gato said:
    I think I've already read through those sites, and here is my conclusion:

    I would definitely write "Chris's dog".

    Or I would definitely write "Chris' dog".

    The first looks alright to me, and the second looks all right too.

    I'm not sure if I have seen less examples of the first or fewer examples of the second.

    I wonder if other people are as confused as me? Or as amused as I? ;)

    Gaer
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    gaer said:
    I think I've already read through those sites, and here is my conclusion:

    I would definitely write "Chris's dog".

    Or I would definitely write "Chris' dog".

    The first looks alright to me, and the second looks all right too.

    I'm not sure if I have seen less examples of the first or fewer examples of the second.

    I wonder if other people are as confused as me? Or as amused as I? ;)

    Gaer

    Haha, nice, Gaer. Imagine this discussion got into that much detail...it might break the record for longest thread ever! ;)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    elroy said:
    Haha, nice, Gaer. Imagine this discussion got into that much detail...it might break the record for longest thread ever! ;)
    Well, as always I learned many things. It all started out with a question that looked so simple. ;)

    Gaer
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    PSIONMAN said:
    But if the dog belonged to Christopher and Christine it would be Chrises' dog wouldn't it?

    Yes, that's what I said earlier but no one answered me... :confused:
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    It's a hot topic, each time it comes up it gets excited responses from the forum like this thread and this one, too.

    Gaer, those links helped, especially the first (or do I just think so because it supports my own opinion :D). Seems that consistency is more important than which way you write it.
     

    CanuckPete

    Member
    English - Canada
    I'm pretty late in the game here; but, I'll add in my two-cents. At work we go by the Canadian Press Style Guide which states that for plural nouns - use s', for singular nouns - use s's.

    "The teachers' room."

    "Chris's dog."

    Do with that what you will.

    <<Not relevant and therefore deleted by moderator. >>
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    I have been seeing forms like Chris' more and more often in recent years, but I have never heard the possessive of Chris pronounced as less than two syllables.

    I was taught all through school, from 1956 through 1976, that possessives are to be written as they sound: add a syllable to Chris, and you have Chris's; don't add a syllable to Jesus, and you can have Jesus'.

    There seems to be a new rule never to write the combination s's at all, no matter what the pronunciation, but I don't know when it started or why, or how widespread it is.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    I have been seeing forms like Chris' more and more often in recent years, but I have never heard the possessive of Chris pronounced as less than two syllables.

    I was taught all through school, from 1956 through 1976, that possessives are to be written as they sound: add a syllable to Chris, and you have Chris's; don't add a syllable to Jesus, and you can have Jesus'.

    There seems to be a new rule never to write the combination s's at all, no matter what the pronunciation, but I don't know when it started or why, or how widespread it is.

    An advantage to the newer rule (as I've mentioned elsewhere, it is the rule given in the latest edition of the US Government Printing Office Style Manual) is that the reader can pronounce the word with a final schwa-s sound (or short-i plus s sound) if they wish to, or can refrain from pronouncing it. This is an advantage because the writer doesn't have to worry about differences between his own pronunciation and that of the reader.

    As it turns out, this even works in a case such as boss', which no one pronounces as one syllable (to the best of my knowledge--I am not so sure about Chris'). If everyone pronounces boss' as two syllables, boss' is just as useful a spelling as Dickens', as long as the reader is aware of the rule.

    The one potential problem I can see is in getting the reader to read song lyrics and poetry as the writer intended them to be read.
     

    jumpygrouch

    New Member
    English
    It's so interesting that this subject went on for so many pages! I think we often forget that when something is awkward in written form, sometimes the best thing to do is to rearrange the sentence so you don't have the awkward phrase. That said, having worked many years in marketing, I've learned that contrary what what some people have written here, readers actually pronounce the 's after someone's name and so they do not find it awkward at all to read. When it's in a lot of text, "Chris's dog" would cause the reader to read faster than "Chris' dog" - the reason being that we've all learned in school that the s is left off for plural nouns, so an s' just makes a reader stop and unconsciously ponder whether the noun is plural. It's my belief that after leaving school, we all forgot in which situation we are supposed to leave off the s, and instead of looking it up we started to just drop the s after the apostrophe on singular nouns as well, and it's gone on so long that now we are starting to dispute which is right. But having an s at the end of my last name, I've found people sometimes leave off the s because they're confused, and using "'s" at the end of it clears that up.
     

    CheChrissie

    New Member
    British English
    My name is Chris and I am British. I was taught by my lovely primary school teacher Miss Morgan (rest her soul) to write, Chris' Dog. I do seem to see Chris's dog more often nowadays and was just wondering about it hence me finding this superb forum. Thank you.
     

    mofo80503

    New Member
    English English
    Some people have stated that they prefer "Chris's" in comparison to "Chris'" because we pronounce the extra s in speech. My challenge to this would be that we could imagine the ' as having the s sound in "Chris' ." I know that this might sound far fetched, but it does support the argument of those in favor of the traditional "Chris'" rather than "Chris's." Thanks!

    I realize it's VERY late to comment on this question I it's been bugging me lately and I've been doing the same as semiller. Taking my name Chris' and pronouncing it Chrises. I always alway taught by my Trinidad and Tobago (English system) that Proper noun possessive ending in s simply has an apostrophe at the end. The teachers never said how it was pronounced but all my friends used Chrises. So I'm going with that.

    I may switch down the road to aviod confusion however. These days, I think most folks are flexible...
     
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    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Personally, I like to standardise everything, so I always add 's, regardless of the name.

    However, I believe the becoming-quaint rule is that if the name itself ends in an [IZ] sound, then you don't add 's. [I tihnk I'm quoting 'Fowler's Modern English Dictionary' here]

    E.g. Someone's sex toy.

    Jesus = [DJEEZ-IZ] = Jesus' walnuts (which I personally think looks right stupid).
    Jesus = [HAY-ZOOS] = Jesus's walnuts
    Chris = [KRIS] = Chris's walnuts
    James = [DJAYMZ] - James's walnuts
     

    Shaazaam

    New Member
    English-United States
    I know this is a few years late but I noticed on the first page people siding towards Chris' being more proper for American English and Chris's for British English. Although I will admit that I do not remember much about this from my grammar classes, I do happen to side with Chris's as it feels more comfortable to me.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I know this is a few years late but I noticed on the first page people siding towards Chris' being more proper for American English and Chris's for British English. Although I will admit that I do not remember much about this from my grammar classes, I do happen to side with Chris's as it feels more comfortable to me.
    Welcome Shaazzaam!
    I only use the -s' version for words where the s denotes plural. For all others (mostly names) the -s does not denote plural so it gets -s's. This allows the elimination of ambiguities for William and Williams (and similar) name forms : Williams' means belonging to the William brothers, while Williams's means belonging to Williams. Willamses means two or more people called Williams. Their belongings are e.g. the Williamses' tennis rackets - similarly the Joneses' rackets for the Jones brothers.
     

    funnyhat

    Senior Member
    American English
    I, too, am an American who was always taught to write it as Chris's, James's, etc. I am not sure that this has anything to do with BE vs. AE. In any event, it seems like both forms are more or less acceptable by the mainstream.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    There've been several suggestions in this thread that there could be an AE/BE distinction, or an older/newer usage, but I can't spot any constant trend.

    There's an Elvis Presley album entitled " Elvis' Christmas Album " [sic, on the original and on all sleeve variants, re-issues, etc].

    So, unlike Egmont (& funnyhat & others) ...
    Count me as one more Yank who would write "Chris's." [...]
    ... Elvis (or his record company) was apparently in the camp of Yanks who would have written " Chris' " ;)

    And on the question of changing trends ...
    I have been seeing forms like Chris' more and more often in recent years, [...].

    I was taught all through school, from 1956 through 1976, that possessives are to be written as they sound: add a syllable to Chris, and you have Chris's [...].

    There seems to be a new rule never to write the combination s's at all, no matter what the pronunciation, but I don't know when it started or why, or how widespread it is.
    ... that Elvis album came out in 1957, so the " Chris' " usage can't be all that new.

    Ws:)
     
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    And then you have the strange practice of the product sold in the US as "Thomas' English Muffins", but which is pronounced as "Thomas's"; indeed, its advertising slogan is "Thomas' promises", with both words rhyming.

    For my part, were I the muffin mogul, I would have written it as "Thomas's."
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If it belongs to Chris, I say Chrisses and write Chris's.
    If it belonges to Moses, I can't bring myself to say Moseses, so I say Moses as a possessive and write it as Moses' - same with any name that ends with a - zuzz sound.
    In other words, I write it as I speak it.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It appears at first glance that age and fame contribute to not getting an s after the apostrophe for names that end in s. Jesus and Moses are ancient examples and it appears Elvis is a modern day instance. However, Jones, Williams and Evans would be examples where I could not bring myself to omit the s after the apostrophe, either written or spoken, and cringe when I see William's as the possessive form of someone called Williams. I would write Williams's and say Williamses. Similarly for Lapidus's said as Lapisusses. Panj, perhaps Jesus and Moses don't get the extra s because they already have two and no-one likes the three esses cluster?
     
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    mplsray

    Senior Member
    And then you have the strange practice of the product sold in the US as "Thomas' English Muffins", but which is pronounced as "Thomas's"; indeed, its advertising slogan is "Thomas' promises", with both words rhyming.

    For my part, were I the muffin mogul, I would have written it as "Thomas's."

    I don't know whether Mr. Thomas wrote "Thomas's English Muffins" or "Thomas' English Muffins," but the latter spelling has been around for a long time, according to this Google Books search. The following is from an ad in The New Yorker, Vol. 11, Part 2, Page 51, shown in facsimile in "snippet view":

    It's always a fine morning when you start with Thomas' English Muffins....
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    To all, more that I found…

    The following is from my own book, "English Usage" (MW).

    There is mixed usage with regard to indicating the genitive case of a singular noun ending in an \s\ or \z\ sound with an apostrophe plus s or an apostrophe alone. Our evidence shows that for common nouns more writers use 's than the apostrophe alone: the boss's desk, the princess's wedding are more common than the boss' desk, the princess' wedding. But when a polysyllabic s or z noun is followed by a word beginning with an s or z sound, the apostrophe alone is more frequent: for convenience' sake.

    This same basic observation can be made of proper nouns: [i]Jones's house, Dicken's novels[/i] are more common than Jones' house, Dickens' novels. There are more exceptions with proper names, however: Jesus' time, Moses' law. Multisyllabic names and particularly those of biblical and classical origin usually take only the apostrophe: Odysseus' journey, Aristophanes' plays. Single-syllable names, however, even the classical ones, more often have 's: Zeus's anger.

    Gaer

    The Dicken's I just bolded has to be a typo in that old post! It's as bad and wrong as Jone's :eek:

    Having had nothing better to do for a few minutes, I re-read the thread. There was only one faint voice from a BrE speaker who said they had been taught to add just an apostrophe after a singular name ending in s (e.g. Chris') but otherwise all the BrE speakers vote for Chris's while only some of the AmE do. For the Canadians and Aussies - I'm sorry Dave :insufficient data to compute!
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    [...] There was only one faint voice from a BrE speaker who said they had been taught to add just an apostrophe after a singular name ending in s (e.g. Chris') but otherwise all the BrE speakers vote for Chris's while only some of the AmE do. [...]
    I was also taught the same at school in the UK : Chris'. But it didn't take me long to switch to the seemingly more logical Chris's, so that is indeed where my vote lies.

    However, to confuse things, I've just done a quick survey of five BrE-speaking colleagues with a fair age-spread. All five instinctively wrote Chris' dog,
    with the justification that it's what they were taught and they'd never thought much about it. That would seem to mess up the BrE stats, Julian.

    But maybe there's another factor: the sample of forum members essentially covers people who reflect on language (or they wouldn't be posting here); my survey involved people who have no special interest in language, so they just follow what they perceive as rules.

    So perhaps that's another possible usage split: linguistic thinkers vs unconcerned rule-followers? ... (or not!!) :D

    Ws :)

     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks Wordsmyth!
    Hal tells me that the data now no longer compute. He is working on a new algorithm based on your suggestion. He feels there is also a component based on age involved and that the teaching in this area has changed both over time and with respect to geography and will need more data still. Did you ask your colleagues (or could you) about Jones', Jone's :)eek:) or Jones's for a single person called Jones - the situation may be more desperate than we thought, Cap'n.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If you would like to feed Hal some additional data, try some of the other threads where the topic has been discussed.
    I've selected these from the many listed at possessive that address the possessive form of names ending with a sibillant.
    It might be interesting to see whose minds have changed over the years :)
    Possessive - proper names ending in Z or S
    Possessive - Beatriz's book, Beatriz' book?
    Possessive: Carlos's, Fritz's, the Sanchez's?
    Possessive: History, and proper nouns in "ss" - Ross' or Ross's
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Did you ask your colleagues (or could you) about Jones', Jone's :)eek:) or Jones's for a single person called Jones - the situation may be more desperate than we thought, Cap'n.

    Nope, didn't ... and can't now as they've all gone home. And as they're pretty unconcerned, they probably wouldn't be keen on a second round just to satisfy Hal.

    I'm sorry, Dave! However the mission is not threatened, because I can predict with reasonable confidence what they would say: Jones' vs Jones's is just like Chris' vs Chris's ; and Jone's is definitely not an option (because if you're a rule-follower it's wrong, and if you're a thinker it's just silly).

    Maybe Hal will find some conclusion in Panj's suggested reading, or maybe he'll just go mad trying. Personally I suspect that the answer is 42.

    Ws:)
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Everything you ever wanted to know about how to use -- and misuse -- apostrophes, may be found in this delightful book:

    Comma Sense: A Fun-damental Guide to Punctuation
    books.google.comRichard Lederer, John Shore - 2007 - 160 pages - Preview
    Co-written by the grammarian author of the best-selling Anguished English series, a lighthearted primer on the fundamentals of American-language punctuation devotes a series of chapters to each of the major punctuation marks,

     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks Panj!
    Hal is requesting to post a poll: choose one from the following 6 options for forming possessives
    A). I was taught to add just apostrophe to anything that ends in s
    B). I was taught to add apostrophe and s to anything singular that ends in s but only an apostrophe to a plural that ends in s.

    For each of A and B we have
    a) I was taught this rule in the US
    b) I was taught this rule in the UK
    c) I was taught this rule elsewhere (Canada , Australia, NZ, India, South Africa)

    Category c in the last is only intended to keep the dataset geographical as such (and not pooled into "BrE of any and all sorts" :D )
    We may have to exclude Moses, Jesus and others (Elvis???) from the discussion ....
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm sorry, Dave! However the mission is not threatened, because I can predict with reasonable confidence what they would say: Jones' vs Jones's is just like Chris' vs Chris's ; and Jone's is definitely not an option (because if you're a rule-follower it's wrong, and if you're a thinker it's just silly).

    Maybe Hal will find some conclusion in Panj's suggested reading, or maybe he'll just go mad trying. Personally I suspect that the answer is 42.

    Ws:)
    Nice comment :D
    I re-read some of Panj's selected threads and concluded, in greement with Hal, that the dataset is too heterogeneous to process.
     
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