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Subject: The rules for the possessive case
Rules for possessive case for words that end in "s". The person who wrote you is correct.

No, I believe I am correct and the e-mail was wrong.

I've been a magazine editor and book designer/editor (edited/designed 450+ books for every major publisher
in the country) and every publisher I've worked for insisted on just an " s' " to show possessive case.

With all due respect, every publisher you've worked for is wrong.
Every publisher says "Throw an apostrophe on the end of a word and call it possessive?"

The following is from the Chicago Manual of Style (the standard style guide used by publishers):


Possessive case. The possessive case (sometimes called the genitive case) denotes

(1) ownership, possession, or occupancy {the architect’s drawing board} {Arnie’s room};    I agree.

(2) a relationship {the philanthropist’s secretary};   
I agree.

(3) agency {the company’s representative}; or  
I agree.

(4) an idiomatic shorthand form of an of-phrase (e.g., one hour’s delay is equal to a delay of one hour).   
I agree.

The possessive case is formed in different ways depending on the noun or nouns and their usage in a sentence.

The possessive of a singular noun is formed by adding ’s {driver’s seat} {engineer’s opinion}.  
I agree.

The possessive of a plural noun that ends in s or es is formed by adding an apostrophe { parents’ house} { foxes’ den}.  
I strongly agree.

The possessive of an irregular plural noun is formed by adding ’s {women’s rights} {mice’s cage}.   
I agree.

The possessive of a multiword compound noun is formed by adding the appropriate ending to the last word {parents-in-law’s message}.  
I agree.

See also 7.17–29.

Yvette, you have further confused me.
You started out saying I was wrong and the e-mailer was right.
But then I agreed with every example you listed.

Some people (not you) seem to think if a name or word ends in S, it must be plural - that's crazy.

How can I agree with every example you sent and be wrong overall?

Building bridges:

Maybe we're both right.
In my lifetime, the dictionary has often allowed colloqualisms to determine right and wrong.
For instance, it used to be catalogue, but then they acquiesced and said catalog is OK, too.
Perhaps anything goes with the spelling of possessive nouns these days.

By saying we're both right, I save those who are wrong from being embarrassed



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