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9 October, 2005

Because I say so

Where a proper name ends with 's', it seems the current grammatic fashion is to end the possessive with 'apostrophe-s' rather than the earlier style of just using an apostrophe.  Hence, Sigur Rós's, not Sigur Rós'.  This applies to modern names; an apparently arbitrary exception is made for ancient names (e.g. Achilles', Jesus').

It seems to be a matter of personal preference, and that neither is actually incorrect (whatever the BBC says).  Therefore, a statement of intent: I don't use the redundant 's' here.


I thought it depended if it's from the Greek or not (I think – I'd have to have a look at the style books). If it's a Greek-derived name there's no additional s: so, "Achilles' heel". But if it's an Anglo-Saxon word, then you need another s: so, "St. Thomas's Church."

That might be wrong, but it works for me :)

Posted by looby at October 10, 2005 06:40 PM

That's a better rationalisation than I found thanks though still a bit arbitrary!

Point is, the sources I consulted say neither form is 'wrong', so I'm sticking with the one I prefer.

Posted by NRT at October 10, 2005 07:48 PM
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