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  1. #21
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Some say that foreign names and last names should take -s's, but many don't bother with the convention.

  2. #22
    Jaguar is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Thanks Tdol. That's interesting to know. I never thought that the rule was different for foreign names.

    My Spanish student mentioned that he had seen -Jesus'- written this way on a poster, or something.

    I have been reading up on the apostrophe in 'Cambridge Grammar of English by Ronald Carter & Michael McCarthy'. I quote:

    The apostrophe 's is also added to names ending in -s. However, many writers prefer simply to add an apostrophe mark after the final -s, especially to names which have more than one syllable:
    Dickens's novels -or- Dickens' novels (more common)


    So, in actual fact both forms are correct.
    What is your opinion, Tdol?
    Jag

  3. #23
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Oh, this debate...

    My opinion is that it should be spelled the way you pronounce it, generally speaking. That seems to be the most logical way to do it. If you pronounce the extra "s", write it in.

    Biblical and classical names, though, seem to be immune to this rule, so we do indeed talk about Jesus' miracles and Archimedes' Principles.

    But ordinary names? eoghan asked about "James". Well, there is at least one very well-known example which has long been established, and that is St James's Park in London. That is how it is spelled on official signs and maps.

    The real problem comes with plurals. If you have a house that belongs to Mr and Mrs Masters, is it the Masters' house, the Masters's house or the Masterses' house?

  4. #24
    Jaguar is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Now this is getting interesting!

    I think I'm going to dedicate the whole of next week to apostrophes.

    Thanks

  5. #25
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    I agree with rewboss. There never was a set rule about these, but the conventions of current usage say spell it like you pronounce it.

    It would be natural to say "Jesus's name" and pronounce it "[jeezusez]."

    If you are talking about the blade on a scissors, it's very difficult to say, "[sizorzez] blade," so we say "scissors' [sizorz] blade," and write it with an apostrophe at the end to show possession.

  6. #26
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    After Jesus only the apostrophe is used to indicate possession.

    ~R

  7. #27
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    If you are talking about the blade on a scissors, it's very difficult to say, "[sizorzez] blade," so we say "scissors' [sizorz] blade," and write it with an apostrophe at the end to show possession.
    Really? I would say "scissor blade", by analogy with "table-top" and "chair-leg". The usual construction is to make the first element attributive; we usually prefer to avoid using the possessive form for inanimate nouns.

  8. #28
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    I agree with rewboss. I am sure that if I had to refer to it I would say scissor-blade.

    ~R

  9. #29
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    How about if you were talking about the scissors' shape, or the scissors' size, or the scissors' bright chrome finish? Would you use the zero-genitive form in those constructions?

  10. #30
    nprjchoivui is offline Newbie
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    hi,there..,how do start this lesson

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