Apostrophes

Status
Not open for further replies.

Uncle M

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Does anyone have a view on the use of apostrophes in such expressions as:
12 months guarantee and 6 months experience?
I feel that the word months' should be written thus, with the apostrophe after the s.
However, it's not a possessive since the the guarantee does not 'belong' to the number of months. Nor are the words '12 months' a compound adjective; otherwise one would write '12 month guarantee'.
On the basis that there are missing characters (6 months worth of experience), I prefer to use the apostrophe in text, but do not object to removing it for aesthetic reasons in headlines.
Guidance on the use of apostrophes is relatively easy to find, but rarely have I seen a definitive answer to this example.
Anyone?

Dave
 

trans

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Russian
Home Country
Russian Federation
Current Location
Russian Federation
I wonder either, just only that the compound adjective would write with a "-" thing (12-month guarantee), wouldn't it?
 

Uncle M

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
A hyphen, yes - you're right.
One of the problems the graphics industry faces is when to sacrifice precision of grammar for the sake of attractive display style.
Are there any other copywriters, sub-editors and proofreaders out there who face the same dilemma?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
The problem with removing it in headlines is that this is one of those issues that those of a pedantic bent feel strongly about- missing apostrophes seem to wind them up.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top