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    #1

    AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    The 2014 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook has this rule:


    SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add 's unless the next word begins with s: the hostess's invitation, the hostess' seat; the witness's answer, the witness' story.


    Based on that rule above, do you agree that all of the examples below are punctuated correctly per their guidance? Have I correctly applied their rule to each example below — yes or no?


    Singular Possession:
    • the mattress' springs
    • the mattress's quality
    • the bus' seats
    • the bus's windshield
    • the bus' steering wheel
    • the thermos' steam
    • the thermos's cover
    • the the seamstress' savings
    • the buttress' support
    • the octupus' shelter
    • the octupus's defense mechanism


    Plural Possession:
    • the mattresses' springs
    • the mattresses' quality
    • the buses' seats
    • the buses' steering wheel
    • the buses' windshield / windshields
    • the thermoses' steam
    • the thermoses' cover
    • the buttressess' support
    • the seamstresses' savings
    • the octupuses' shelter
    • the octupuses' defense mechanism


    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    They look fine to me.

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    Well, they're obviously OK because you've simply applied the stylebook's guidelines.

    It is only a styleguide however, not a commandment chiseled in stone, and as such I don't agree with it. Styleguides are typically about punctuation, grammar and format, not pronunciation.

    How are you supposed to pronounce, 'the hostess' seat'? In the real world it is 'the hostess's seat' and is pronounced as written.

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    #4

    Re: AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    This is the Associated Press styleguide, so it's concerned with appearance on the page rather than pronunciation.

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    #5

    Re: AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    I can see that, but that doesn't answer the question of how one is expected to pronounce these written words.

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    #6

    Re: AP Style -- Singular Common Nouns Ending in "S"

    I'd add the extra syllable when speaking, regardless of how it's written.

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