Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,267
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    "The Coles's dinner party"

    An article in an erudite British magazine * discusses Miss Austen's novel Emma.

    The article's author (who teaches at University College London) refers to "the Coles's ... dinner party." [A dinner party hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Cole.]

    I am 99.99% confident that an American writer would have written "the Coles' dinner party."

    Was that a typo, or is that spelling permissible in British spelling?


    Thank you

    * London Review of Books, November 20, 2014. If you are a fan of Ms. Austen's novels, that article is indispensable.
    Last edited by TheParser; 27-Nov-2014 at 14:52. Reason: I forgot an indefinite article.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 21,514
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: "The Coles's dinner party"

    That spelling is not only permissible – it's widely used in British speech and spelling.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 27-Nov-2014 at 18:56.

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 6,002
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: "The Coles's dinner party"

    As an AmE-speaker, I had no idea that "the Coles' dinner party" was the preferred form in AmE. I myself have always used ...s's.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: "The Coles's dinner party"

    And I agree with Rique. I have disagreed with James before on this one. Many style guides recommend "s's" if the second "s" is pronounced.

    If someone says "Jameses", it should be written "James's". There are, of course, differences of opinion. But I am 99.99% sure that many Americans would write "the Coles's".
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 28-Nov-2014 at 02:34.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,267
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: "The Coles's dinner party"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    But I am 99.99% sure that many Americans would write "the Coles's".


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    As you know, we non-teachers' posts are deleted by a moderator if we make an outrageous mistake.

    I am now 100% confident of my opinion.

    There is a difference between "Cole" and "James." As you can see, "Cole" does not end in "s." Therefore, we say and write:

    Mr. Cole's wife.
    The Coles are coming to visit.
    The Coles' dinner party was a big bore. (The dinner party of the Coles. NOT: The dinner party of the Coleses; The dinner party of the Obamas. NOT: the dinner party of the Obamases.)

    That is completely different from:

    James's house. (Or: "James' house," which is pronounced "Jameses house.")

    I hope that you will reconsider your answer, for the "Ask a Teacher" forum does not want to confuse learners. If a disinterested third party can prove that I am wrong, I will eat my hat, suspend myself for a week, and ask that my answer be deleted in order to protect the integrity of this forum.


    James

    P.S. The teachers had a dinner party. The teachers' dinner party was great. Surely no American would stand for "the teachers's party was a great success." It is not pronounced "teacherses." It is pronounced, as in "the dinner party of the teachers."
    Last edited by TheParser; 28-Nov-2014 at 15:18. Reason: I added a colon.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 34,332
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: "The Coles's dinner party"

    As far as I am concerned, "the Coles's dinner party" and "the Coles' dinner party" are equally acceptable. I favour the latter purely for aesthetic reasons. I simply don't like how "s's" looks!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Dec-2013, 13:36
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-Oct-2012, 05:25
  3. plan a dinner party
    By ziawj2 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Oct-2012, 11:33
  4. Planning a dinner party
    By Joyous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Nov-2008, 16:18
  5. "do a party" vs "throw a party"
    By mehmetmamger in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 26-Apr-2007, 11:01

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •