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Reply #8: It's Different for Common or Proper Nouns [View All]

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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-04 04:15 PM
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8. It's Different for Common or Proper Nouns
According to The Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk and White's Elements of Style, you make a possessive out of common nouns ending in "s" by adding an apostrophe, regardless of whether they're singluar or plural. You should write: ships' sails, workers' rights.

In most cases, you make a possessive out of proper nouns (such as people's names) by adding an apostrophe and an "s." You Should write: Bridget Jones's diary, Prince Charles's haircut. The additional "s" should be pronounced ("Charl-zez").

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the only exceptions are the names Jesus, Moses, and certain multisyllabic ancient Greek names, such as Aristopheses. It is permissiable to say "Jesus' words" or "Socrates' teachings."

There may be some leeway nowadays -- some people allow either method for any name -- but I think that's a less rigorous standard.

Cheers! :toast:
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