5.04.2011

I guess I've been wrong about possessive "s"

Uh oh...I've been following the wrong rule for years when it comes to possessive "s" after words that end with "s". According to IIT/Kent Law:
If a singular noun ends in an "s," use "'s" to create the possessive form only if the noun ends in a "s" sound. However, if the noun ends in a "z" sound, use just an apostrophe without adding an additional "s." This produces a more pronounceable possessive.

Correct: The car in question was Roger Weiss's red convertible.

Also Correct:

I was a student in Professor Abrams' Torts class.
I've assumed that you don't add an "s", though I've noticed Brits tend to add an "s". I better start writing correctly :o

4 comments:

vp said...

I always add "'s" for the singular possessive, whatever sound the singular ends in. It is really a matter of taste. (I find omitting the "'s" distasteful -- no doubt other feel the opposite).

mj said...

I bet a lot of people don't even know the rules.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

I had it drilled into me that you always add the 's except in the case of Biblical names (for some freaking reason), and it's been hard to break the habit. It's made somewhat easier, however, by the fact that sometimes s's just looks silly.

mj said...

Weird--I've never heard of the Bible rule.