1. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    apostrophe argument

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ulster, Dec 28, 2008.

    A few of us want to start a writer's group but can't agree on proper usage for the apostrophe in the name (some writer's group!:rolleyes:) Anyway-

    Would it be:

    Our Writers Group
    Our Writer's Group
    Our Writers' Group

    Thank you for ending the argument!! :)
     
  2. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    Our Writers Group : The possessive pronoun 'our' implies the group belongs to us. Writers means it is composed of writers.

    Our Writer's Group : One person who is our writer owns a group but what is in the group is unknown.

    Our Writers' Group : More than one writer who are ours own a group but, again, it elements are unknown.

    Our Writers' Writers Group : Our writers own a group composed of writers but the two groups are not necessarily the same.

    Hope that helps. :)

    [edit] BTW, your comment should be : some writers group!
     
  3. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    goldhawk has some mad grammar skills! I was going to say Our Writers Group but couldn't say why technically, it just sounded right. I like your breakdown much better. :)
     
  4. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    Wow - that was some explanation! :eek: :D

    After I posted, I realized using the word 'our' may not have been the best example. I should have used something like

    1. Chicago Writers Group
    2. Chicago Writer's Group
    3. Chicago Writers' Group


    I think it should be # 2 because the group belongs to the Chicago area writers, which may consist of many poeple, but it's only one group, so wouldn't that be singular possessive?.

    I tried to look this up in Webster's Guide to English Usage, but the book directed me to possessive with gerund and double genetive, and I ended up quite confused.
     
  5. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    No, it shouldn't be number two, because the word "writer" is singular. You're talking about a group for a number of writers, therefore the apostrophe goes after the s: "Writers' Group."
     
  6. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    Hmmmmm . . .
    I'm not sure I agree with that. There are more than one writers (hence, a group), but there's only one group. I appreciate the info tho. :)
     
  7. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    The word "writer" implies one person. It's a singular possessive. In a singular possessive, the apostrophe goes before the s. "Writer's block" implies a block for one person.

    The word "writers" is plural. In plural possessives, the apostrophe goes after the s. So, it becomes: "Writers' Forum." Because the forum isn't just for one, single writer. It's for a group of writers.
     
  8. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    Ok, so It would be Chicago Writers' Group?

    I think I'd agree with that!
     
  9. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    The Chicago Writers Group is usually sufficient since most groups that are not corporations or charities are owned by their members. But if you want to capture all the nuances, you could call it the Chicago Writers' Writers Own Group; meaning the writers who are members also own the group.
     
  10. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    Ok, thanks to you all - I think I'll make it ----- Writers Group (no apostrophe), but what do you think of our (tentative) slogan?

    a writers group is nothing
    without a writers' group.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. Chicago Writers Group
    = it's a group of chicago writers

    2. Chicago Writer's Group
    = it's a group for any chicago writer, or for any writer and the group happens to be in chicago

    3. Chicago Writers' Group
    = it's a group of chicago writers

    you can apply these same definitions to the first set of examples...
     
  12. ulster
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    ulster Member

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    Got it! (finally) Thanks.
     

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