1. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    plural name

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by cobaltblue, Jun 21, 2012.

    There is a family in my story, let's call them the Brown family.
    I want to indicate that the entire family are together doing the same thing so I need to make Brown plural - "The Browns were watching TV."
    That follows the rule for making things plural, just add an 's'. But it looks so wrong to me! I'm driving myself crazy... like when you say the same word over and over again it begins to lose all meaning and it sounds like nonsense.

    Why does that look so wrong to me?? I want to write it like this "The Browns' were watching TV."

    If I had named them the Jones family, the plural would have been "The Joneses were watching TV." Which I find more satisfying.


    Blue (just having a rant)
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Why not just say the 'Brown family were watching TV?'
    That would avoid this hassle...
    But adding the 'S' on the 'Brown' seems correct to me. If you wrote it like Browns', what does the apostrophe stand for? When something is written like that, that usually means the possessive 'S', so that isn't correct.
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I hope that this helped.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Browns went broke trying to keep up with tghe Joneses.

    No apostrophes. Proper nouns are pluralized in the same manner as common nouns.
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Probably because too many people nowadays think that the purpose of an apostrophe is to warn the reader that there is an 's' nearby. Fortunately that usage isn't generally accepted yet.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and never will be, if grammar still counts for anything...
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's called the greengrocer's apostrophe because of signs such as this:

    [​IMG]

    (It is incorrect usage, in case there is any confusion)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!

    grammatically, what's written on the sign means '110/kilo' belongs to the 'best bananas'!
     
  8. thetyper
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    thetyper Member

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    It could mean that the best banana is 110/kilo which is one very expensive banana!
     
  9. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    Hmm... seeing the apostrophe everywhere may indeed be why I have that nagging missing-apostrophe!! feeling :) Thank you!
    Word underlines 'Browns' I must teach my computer that I mean more-than-one-person-with-the-name-Brown and stop assuming that my computer knows things that I don't.

    Disclaimer: Names have been changed to protect the innocent, there are no Browns or Joneses in my manuscript.

    Blue
     

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