1. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Possesive of S?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Smoke, Mar 21, 2011.

    Since I'm writing fanfiction, I can't change the characters' names to avoid this problem.

    The names are Janos, Moebius, and Mortanious. (I constantly have to look up the last one, but it still ends with an S unless I'm going informal enough to say that it's Morty's problem.)

    I tend to write it as Janos' feather and Moebius' staff, is this correct?
     
  2. Omega14
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    Omega14 Member

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    English Grammar for Dummies says that Janos' and Janos's (for example) are both considered grammatically correct and it's a matter of choice. However, if the word showing possession already ends in an "es" sound, then you would do better to stick to an apostrophe alone: eg. Mrs Bridges' cat (because otherwise it sounds like Bridgeses).

    I do remember reading in another book somewhere that modern names such as James show possession as James's, whereas ancient names like Copernicus, Archimedes etc take only an apostrophe (Copernicus').

    Hope that helps.

    Rachel
     
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  3. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Not at all. Somehow, even though or perhaps despite that I'm one of those goofs who learned language through reading rather than listening, I still pronounce the un-followed S-apostrophe the same as S-apostrophe-S.

    Perhaps it is helpful in my answering potential grammar-foibles by saying that "eff-you, the way I do it is acceptable!"

    (I probably should have stuck with Nazi instead of Foible, but it's probably still better than the other F-word.)
     
  4. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many would pronounce it 'Bridgeses', at least in my neck of the woods.
    I don't think it's wrong.
     
  5. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    I was always taught that "Janos' feather" would be favored over "Janos's feather". Since this is fanfiction you're writing, though, grammar might not be a very big issue, unless you're planning on publishing it, and then it would depend on your editor's preference, I guess.
     
  6. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Fanfiction is open to comment in the first year... and later years just spew on the hopes that they are heard. Editor is reviewer. :)

    And fanfiction I think is excluded from publishing, or else the FF writer doesn't have any rights beyond the inspiration company.... I'm afraid that I'm not up on the legal, but I tend to take the view that dis-includes me from complaining about people from using my voodoo-inspired solution on the common problem of many fanworks.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Janos' feather. According to the AP Style guidelines, Janos's feather is incorrect...plus it just looks weird. ;)
     
  8. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    I like that answer about looking weird. I will consider all challengers until I get bored.
     
  9. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    Sorry, I don't know much about fanfiction. :redface: Or you could just hope and pray that the readers aren't too picky about grammar. :p
     

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