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 Post subject: Possessive Apostrophe
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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I am struggling to find the correct answer.

Is it

the princess' hair or the princess's hair?

Some sites say either is ok but to be consistent. Does anyone know for sure?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:33 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
Modern usage seems to be that you write it as you would say it - so princess's. I suspect if you look at older sources you'll probably find the other version, especially for names - St James' Church or St Thomas' Hospital - althouth London has St James's Park for example - so bang goes that theory!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:37 am 
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Thanks. I was going to check in Eats, Shoots and Leaves but can't find it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:48 am 
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I'm sure we've had this question before. I like the advice here:

http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/preposterous-apostrophes-i-possessives/

So probably princess's dresses (and even princess's scissors imho) but most likely Moses' swimming trunks rather than Moses's.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:51 am 
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Bookmarked!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:56 am 
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Interesting one as my sons both have names ending in "s". I tend to put ***s' rather than ***s's. I'm with you, mike1880, princess's, but not Moses's'.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:16 am 
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I have a vague memory of s' or s's being explained in Eats, Shoot and Leaves - something to do with old names - but I wasn't sure if the same applied to words ending in ss. I must find that book.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:30 am 
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Both are correct as far as I know.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:10 pm 
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From Eats, shoots and Leaves:

Quote:
Current guides to punctuation state that with modern names ending in "s", the "s" is required after the apostrophe: Keats's poems, Philippa Jones's book, St James's Square
With names from the ancient world, it is not: Archimedes' screw, Achilles' heel
If the name ends in an "iz" sound, an exception is made: Bridges' score, Moses' tablets
And an exception is always made for Jesus: Jesus' disciples
However, these are matters of style and preference that are definitely not set in stone, and it's a good idea not to get fixated about them.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Found it :D. It's the section just before that that explains what I was looking for.


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