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    #1

    Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    For the name of a club, such as SEA Writer(s) Association do we add an 's' to the word 'Writer?'

    Also, which word needs and 's' for a name such as Dog(s) Lover(s) Club?

    I feel that SEA Writers Association and that Dog Lovers Club sound more natural. Could somebody please clarify with an explanation?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    "Dog Lovers Club" is fine without the apostrophe. I can't tell about SEA Writers without knowing what SEA means.

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    #3

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    "Dog Lovers Club" is fine without the apostrophe. I can't tell about SEA Writers without knowing what SEA means.
    Sorry. SEA stands for South East Asian

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    Quote Originally Posted by crabstix View Post
    Could somebody please clarify with an explanation?
    I think a possible explanation is that there is more than one writer/lover, so an 's' is needed, but I am not a teacher. In my humble opinion, 'Dog' functions as an adjective in 'Dog Lovers', so an 's' is not needed.

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    #5

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

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


    Hello, Crabstix:

    As a newspaper reader since the 1940s / 1940's, I would like to share some ideas (not "answers" ) with you.

    1. Yes, traditional rules would require SEA Writers' Association. (That is, the Association of SEA Writers.)

    2. Yes, traditional rules would require Dog Lovers' Club.

    a. As Matthew Wai reminded us, adjectives in English do NOT match plural nouns. For example, "In the park, there were many dog lovers."

    3. I think that it is fair to say that in 2015, the trend in the United States is to drop "unnecessary" apostrophes.

    a. I agree with you that SEA Writers Association and Dog Lovers Club look cleaner and more attractive. Apostrophes only add clutter.

    i. Today, almost all Americans would write: "I went to James' house." Very few people follow the rule and write: "James's." I suspect that many younger (and not so young) people would find that quite weird looking. (Personally, I do write the "weird" version.)

    4. Here is an example that delights me. We have a holiday to remember all presidents. I have noticed that it is spelled in three different ways:

    a. Presidents' Day (That's the traditional spelling.)
    b. President's Day (Some people object to this, saying that we have had more than one president. I suspect that some people spell it that way because they think that the traditional version looks "weird.")
    c. Presidents Day (This does seem to be the most streamlined version, don't you think?)

    5. Finally, I always get a chuckle (a gentle laugh) from the many name changes of a newspaper that used to be published in the United Kingdom.

    a. In the 19th century, a Mr. Reynolds started a newspaper, so he called it Reynolds's Newspaper.
    b. After other name changes, it became Reynolds's News (Much neater than "newspaper," don't you think?)
    c. Then after some other name changes, it became Reynolds News (no apostrophes at all!).

    Source: a Google result from the University of Bradford
    Last edited by TheParser; 10-Aug-2015 at 12:45.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    "i. Today, almost all Americans would write: "I went to James' house." Very few people follow the rule and write: "James's."

    I don't agree with that. Where do you get your "almost all Americans" from? Do you you have data to support that?

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Do you you have data to support that?
    This Ngram evidence suggests that the use of James's is on the increase.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    No evidence is shown there. See for yourself.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    Just click on the search box and it will appear. The apostrophes caused a problem.

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    #10

    Re: Please explain the rule for adding an 's' to certain nouns but not to others

    In my opinion clarity of meaning trumps orthography because orthography does not govern pronunciation. As a native speaker of AmE I always write James's and Williams's etc, for the sake of clarity. But I feel free to say just James or Williams as the occasion demands.

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