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Do you add an S in possessive proper names ending in S?


Buckfast 1

  

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According to my grammar research, either is permissible.Personally, I think one way is better, but I just got paper revisions back changing it to the alternative way.I'm just wondering which way is more common.

Frankly, I think most people use s' because that's the general rule and they just don't know any better, but my understanding is that s's is "more correct."HTH
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s's.Strunk & White agree

While many still maintain that it is only a question of style, and while language is certainly fluid, there are actually general rules in this case: Form the singular possessive of nouns ending in s with 's: Mr. Jones's dog, Maris's foibles, James's dissertation. The only exceptions are ancient proper nouns: Jesus' disciples. However, you form the plural possessive of nouns by adding an apostrophe after the "s": the dogs' bones, the balloons' strings, the lollipops' centers.In the case of the plural possessive of nouns ending in s -- as in, say, the family Jones and their collective beach house -- you add an es and an apostrophe at the end: the Joneses' beach house, the Moraleses' car. (My information comes from Strunk & White. You can find exceptions to all of these rules, but they are the generally accepted rules.)

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According to my grammar research, either is permissible.Personally, I think one way is better, but I just got paper revisions back changing it to the alternative way.I'm just wondering which way is more common.

Frankly, I think most people use s' because that's the general rule and they just don't know any better, but my understanding is that s's is "more correct."HTH
For once, Otis knows what's going on.
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(except in the case of names like Jesus and Zeus).

Why is that?
Not sure, but I would guess the S+apostrophe+S is lingering for clarity and those names are universally understood to end with s.
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

This is why I am frustrated with the English language. Everything I learned in school has changed.
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I don't agree with Otis' treatment.

See if you were reading that statement aloud, you would say "O-tis-sizz treat-ment" not "O-tis treat-ment." I think it's kind of strange to leave out the written "s" when you would pronounce it verbally.
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

This is why I am frustrated with the English language. Everything I learned in school has changed.
So you haven't kept up with your continuing education 10th grade English courses? :thumbup:
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

Most AP determinations come down on the side of brevity.
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I'm actually really glad you started this thread, Buckfast, because I've been feeling a little insecure about this little rule of late. The vast majority of the time, people don't include the extra "s," that I've seen. Stubbornly, I've been sticking to my guns.

I feel the same way. Someone needs to affirmatively decide one way or the other. I don't like this "either is acceptable and no one is certain which is preferred" nonsense.
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"S's" is the older way of doing it, "s' " is the more modern way. It's wrong to say that "s's" is more correct.

i don't know if ur right about it being more modern, but even if u are, that doesn't make it correct (as evidenced by this sentence).strunk and white say it's s's -- that's as close to an authority on the subject as i know
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

What does it say about groups?

Example: The roommates's dishes are piling up in the sink. I want to show that many roommates dishes not just one.

Has that changed also?

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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

What does it say about groups?

Example: The roommates's dishes are piling up in the sink. I want to show that many roommates dishes not just one.

Has that changed also?

Just one roommate: "roommate's."

More than one roommate: "roommates'."

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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

Most AP determinations come down on the side of brevity.
I don't disagree. I think the right answer to the question really depends on the setting.
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Here's a law review article discussing the use of apostrophes in these cases. It's not especially good because the writer doesn't come down strongly on one side or the other, but he gives a decent discussion of "the Great Debate in the Apostrophe World" on the second page.

http://www.sillscummis.com/downloads/artic...%2012.26.05.pdf

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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

What does it say about groups?

Example: The roommates's dishes are piling up in the sink. I want to show that many roommates dishes not just one.

Has that changed also?

Just one roommate: "roommate's."

More than one roommate: "roommates'."

:thumbup:
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

Most AP determinations come down on the side of brevity.
this is true -- as outdated as it may seem, it's to save newsprint. as another example, consider that FDR, JFK and LBJ have longer last names than nixon, ford and carter. historically, newspapers have used the initials of people whose names commonly appeared in headlines when their last names were on the longer side.
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Depends who you're using as a guide. Pg. 323 of the AP Style Guide (which we use) sez:

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories...

What does it say about groups?

Example: The roommates's dishes are piling up in the sink. I want to show that many roommates dishes not just one.

Has that changed also?

Just one roommate: "roommate's."

More than one roommate: "roommates'."

:thumbdown:
Thank you both.

But technically I could use roommates's and still be correct.

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"S's" is the older way of doing it, "s' " is the more modern way. It's wrong to say that "s's" is more correct.

i don't know if ur right about it being more modern, but even if u are, that doesn't make it correct (as evidenced by this sentence).strunk and white say it's s's -- that's as close to an authority on the subject as i know
Strunk & White also makes a bunch of exceptions. I'm a big fan of Elements of Style, but I disagree with it here.
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I hate it when I am late to punctuation threads.

The answer is that either can be OK, but it sometimes depends on what forum you're writing in.

In academic writing, add the extra -s. Have dinner at Ferris's house. (Biblical and classical names are excepted, as has been noted by others.)

If you're writing for a newspaper or magazine, editors will generally have you omit the second -s. Have dinner at Ferris' house. That omission is approved by the AP Stylebook, for example.

When writing emails or message board posts, do what you want.

Personally, I always include the second -s unless I'm writing for the Footballguys main site, in which case I omit it.

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What does it say about groups?Example: The roommates's dishes are piling up in the sink. I want to show that many roommates dishes not just one.Has that changed also?

Just one roommate: "roommate's."More than one roommate: "roommates'."
:lmao:
Thank you both.But technically I could use roommates's and still be correct.
I guess I don't see how. We're talking about proper names that end in "s." Plural nouns that end in "s" that are possessive just end in an apostrophe.
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Thank you both.

But technically I could use roommates's and still be correct.

No, the rule only applies when you are forming the possessive of singular nouns that end in an "s" sound.

Thus, if you were talking about the testimony of a witness, you could say witness' testimony or witness's testimony, but in the case of roommates' dishes it would always be roommates' dishes since the singular form of the noun, roommate, does not end in "s."

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