When do you use an extra apostrophe "s" following a last name ending with the letter "s"? Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition, 6.24-30 says: The general rule for the possessive of nouns covers most proper nouns, including most names ending in sibilants (but see exceptions in 6.26-27 and alternatives in 6.30). Kansas's; Burns's poems; Marx's theories; Dickens's novels....For names ending in silent s, z, or x the possessive, unlike the plural, can generally be formed in the usual way without suggesting an incorrect pronunciation: Margaux's bouquet; Descartes's works. Traditional exceptions to the general rule for forming the possessive are the names Jesus and Moses: in Jesus' name; Moses' leadership..."How to form the possessive of polysyllabic personal names ending with the sound of s or z," says CMS, "probably occasions more dissension among writes and editors than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement." Gregg Reference Manual, 7th Edition, Sabin, 631 says: To form the possessive of a singular noun that ends in an "s" sound, be guided by the way you pronounce the word: (a) if a new syllable is formed in the pronunciation of the possessive, add an apostrophe plus "s," e.g., Mr. Morris's eyeglasses; Miss Knox's hairdo; Mrs. Lopez's term paper...(b) If the addition of an extra syllable would make a word ending in an "s" hard to pronounce, add the apostrophe only, e.g., Mrs. Phillips' comment; Mr. Hastings' bike... There will always be controversy on this "style" issue, since some style guides call for only an apostrophe followed by the letter "s." Some are more concerned with the way a word looks in print, others with the way it sounds when spoken.
Archives for 2011
Monday morning, my brother, David Crook, friend Martha Retallick, and I, went to the Phoenix Zoo. We had a wonderful time. Retallick recently published a book, Bike-tography. "When I was in my early twenties," she says, "I set the goal of bicycling through all 50 of the United States. I accomplished this over a twelve-year period, traveling more than 15,000 miles in the United States, plus a bit of Mexico and Canada." These days she lives in Tucson, where bicycling is a huge culture, and she covers many events, bicycle and other, by using her bike as transportation. I'd hoped to show her the Komodo Dragons, but they weren't visible, so we went off to see what else we could find. We discovered lots of little creatures in the first part of our trip, since only one elephant was visible and it stayed near the shelter. We finally got to the area where the giraffes lived, which is always fun. Martha hiked around that area while David and I grabbed a hamburger. We stopped to enjoy the brilliant, beautiful koi, then headed back for Peoria.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and ESET just put out a dandy newsletter to help us stay out of harm's way. Why do I recommend this ezine? Because I've been an ESET customer for over three years, and it is a superb program that doesn't hog space or cause glitches. Very smooth. Very easy. Very reliable. I use Smart Security because I absolutely must protect my business data. It highly recommends Securing Our eCity, and recommends taking a pre-assessment test to see how well you know your Internet security issues. In addition ESET offers some terrific tips for kids online: Let your kids know that you trust them, but that you (and they) can’t always trust others online. Be sure they understand that the reason Facebook is free is because Facebook sells their data to others. Remind them to review their Facebook and other social media accounts' privacy settings, at least monthly. Get a Facebook account yourself and ask your children to “friend” you. Get them to change the settings in their smartphone to remove location data from pictures. Be sure they know that pictures taken by friends and posted on social media are out of their control and can be embarrassing, if not worse. Encourage them to keep their whereabouts private (don’t “check in” to a location). Remind them that “online is forever.” What seems cool today can ruin a relationship or a job opportunity in the future. To subscribe to any of ESET's publications, go to this page.