1. E. C. Scrubb

    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

    Jul 22, 2012
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    Southwest US

    Possessives and 's

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by E. C. Scrubb, Jul 30, 2012.

    Alright, here's an issue that's bothered me for a while - how do you do pluralize proper nouns that end in "s". I ask this, because the rule has changed.

    In the new style guides (Turabian 7th edtion, Chicago 16th edition, MLA, etc.) the rule is to add the 's to all names that end in "s," except for names that do not pronounce the final "s," like Descartes (Turabian, but not MLA, it seems).

    However, since the change is so new (within the last 5-15 years, mainly), most of those who read what we write, are still brought up in the old system; "Russ' book" rather than "Russ's book."

    To make it more confusing, certain names, those that fall in "Sacred History" are not changed; "Jesus' disciples" or "Moses' law."

    So which do you all follow? Why? I'm torn both ways, because in my scholarly writing, I follow Turabian, which means I've gotten very used to the 's, but recognize that a lot of people who haven't been in school for a few years would consider that wrong - even though it is now technically correct.
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    it won't matter all that much [or at all], as long as you're consistent... if a publisher has a house style that differs from your usage, they'll simply change it...

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