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  1. #11
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Thank you RonBee for your contribution.
    As for adding the S of the possessive case after the apostrophe in most case (except for classical names like Pythagoras, Archimedes, Sophocles etc.), well, I'll go along with you there.
    MY problem (which I know I will never manage to thrash out completely as a non native speaker) is whether a name in the possessive case (a person's name or a geographical name) with just an apostrophe SHOULD be read as if the writer had actually added an S.
    Now, Raymott mentioned an authoritative grammar (the Collins Cobuild English Grammar... (there's no apostrophe, Raymott!!)) which says that a name like Perkins' can be pronounced ad /Perkinz/ or /Perkinsiz/.
    My question now: if, for example I come across 'Britney Spears' first record' in an article, can I pronounce it either /spearz/ or /spearsiz/ or do you recommend pronouncing the S anyway??
    Oh, thank you for pointing out that you say 'get to the bottom of sthg' and no 'go..' As it happens I knew that, but often times haste makes you write the silliest things...

  2. #12
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    and NOT 'go to the bottom'.. See?

  3. #13
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    For me, no extra "s" Perkins' car or Spears' new record are perfectly correct, I wouldn't pronounce them either.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    MY problem (which I know I will never manage to thrash out completely as a non native speaker) is whether a name in the possessive case (a person's name or a geographical name) with just an apostrophe SHOULD be read as if the writer had actually added an S.
    Now, Raymott mentioned an authoritative grammar (the Collins Cobuild English Grammar... (there's no apostrophe, Raymott!!)) which says that a name like Perkins' can be pronounced ad /Perkinz/ or /Perkinsiz/.
    My question now: if, for example I come across 'Britney Spears' first record' in an article, can I pronounce it either /spearz/ or /spearsiz/ or do you recommend pronouncing the S anyway??
    Oh, thank you for pointing out that you say 'get to the bottom of sthg' and no 'go..' As it happens I knew that, but often times haste makes you write the silliest things...
    I've given you the answer. You just don't want to accept it. There is no authority that can answer your question definitively about what you should do. The fact that you are a non-native speaker doesn't enter into it. I've given you a respectable English reference. You can generalise from Collins that, if one can say Perkins or Perkinses, one can also say Spears or Spearses.
    You can continue to take polls here, but Collins has already done it, and they have come to the conclusion that there is no should about it. You're left with the terrible existential choice of having to make a decision for yourself. You can teach your students that they can say either.
    About the apostrophe in Collins, a wace person once said: "As it happens I knew that, but often times haste makes you write the silliest things..."

  5. #15
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Hi all!

    One last attempt.... please bear with me...

    What about the following surnames clearly deriving from singular proper names? Would most of you pronounce the S after the apostrophe?

    WILLIAMS'
    EDWARDS'
    ANDREWS'
    ROBERTS'
    PETERS'
    ADAMS'
    STEVENS'
    SYMONS'
    RICHARDS'

    I know some of you will say they would not pronounce the S, others will claim they would most certainly add an S after the apostrophe, so basically I'll be back to square one.
    I know I'm driving you nuts but I do need your precious advice as this is a sort of survey, or 'investigation' into what most grammar books avoid dealing with.
    Thank you all very much



  6. #16
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Hi all!

    One last attempt [grazie a Dio ] .... please bear with me...

    What about the following surnames clearly deriving from singular proper names? Would most of you pronounce the S after the apostrophe?

    WILLIAMS' Yes
    EDWARDS' Yes
    ANDREWS' Yes
    ROBERTS' Yes
    PETERS' Yes
    ADAMS' Yes
    STEVENS' Yes
    SYMONS' Yes
    RICHARDS' Yes

    I know some of you will say they would not pronounce the S, others will claim they would most certainly add an S after the apostrophe, so basically I'll be back to square one.
    Exactly - unless someone is brave enough to claim that there is only one way they can be pronounced, diligent enough to find a grammatical source to confirm that, and clever enough to argue against Collins.

    I know I'm driving you nuts but I do need your precious advice as this is a sort of survey, or 'investigation' into what most grammar books avoid dealing with.
    Thank you all very much
    There's mine.
    The reason is partly that, if it is important enough to signal the difference in writing, it is also important in speech.

  7. #17
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Thank you Raymott
    Your last remark was a clincher!

    No more posts about apostrophes and Ss!
    You see, our prayers have been answered:
    I promise!!

    Thank you!

  8. #18
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronouncing the S after an apostrophe

    Oooops, I meant... YOUR prayers

  9. #19
    wace is offline Member
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    Default throwing the cat among the pigeons

    Raymott
    I wonder if that's the Australian version of the idiom 'PUT/SET the cat among the pigeons'... Whichever verb you may use, it really does convey the idea of something causing trouble or making a situation more confusing...Some idioms are incredibly effective.

  10. #20
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: throwing the cat among the pigeons

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Raymott
    I wonder if that's the Australian version of the idiom 'PUT/SET the cat among the pigeons'... Whichever verb you may use, it really does convey the idea of something causing trouble or making a situation more confusing...Some idioms are incredibly effective.
    Yes, I don't think the verb matters in that idiom.
    I'm glad you've finally found some satisfaction.
    By the way, do you pronounce your name /waɪs/ or /waːtʃe/

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