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Scant evidence of my madness - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Scant evidence of my madness
Am I the only person who uses ' in place of 's for a possessive form of a word or name ending in s? (ex. Jess' harquebus instead of Jess's swept-hilt rapier.)
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Comments
cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: November 26th, 2003 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I do the same thing because it should be Jess' and not Jess's.

komos From: komos Date: November 26th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I BELIEVE!
chinaski From: chinaski Date: November 26th, 2003 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

me too,

But so few people seem to know this very simple rule. Perplexing...
komos From: komos Date: November 26th, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: me too,

It makes me feel like I'm being archaic. My language seems to have evolved without me.
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: November 26th, 2003 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes it's good to have the affirmation.
shara From: shara Date: November 26th, 2003 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Add my name to the list...

whether or not this is a sign of madness is still up for grabs.
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
It does take many forms... I just like to be clear about its manifestations in me.
starboogie From: starboogie Date: November 26th, 2003 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
As an authority on the particular possessive in your example (though I am not currently in possession of either a harquebus or rapier), I know this rule, and choose to ignore it! I think it's silly, and there's nothing wrong with having a lot of esseseseses in a row.
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
But think about how cool it would be if you did own a harquebus and rapier even if the possessive was noted incorrectly?
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
...on my part, of course.
alex_victory From: alex_victory Date: November 26th, 2003 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
My AP English teach declared me the class expert on possession because I never got that wrong. 8)
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you'll have to have a water balloon fight with cinemama now.
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: November 26th, 2003 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your totally in the right!

-ia.
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
So many conflicting opinions!
cinemama From: cinemama Date: November 26th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate to rain on the parade, but the grammar is incorrect. If Jess were polysyllabic, you could get away with it (an accepted everyday breaking of the standard rule), but never with a monosyllabic name or word. The standard form does not allow for the dropped s when displaying singular possession. Now if you were talking about 2 or more people named Jess, no worries.

See Chicago Manual of Style. (I have Grammar Nazi burkean backing me up on this one.)
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
So has it fallen out of favor, or is it just that it was never acceptable?

Didn't know Burke was a grammar nazi. I'll try to be on my best behavior from now on. ;)
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 26th, 2003 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually stopped doing that about a year ago. It turns out that it's incorrect these days; if it is a singular, it needs the extra s. So, Jess's, or Jesses', if there is more than one Jess who has such possession. I still think it looks better to have Jess', though.
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree completely. Three s's in a row make my brain hurt for some ungodly reason.
From: missmelysse Date: November 26th, 2003 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do it, as well.
Real evidence of madness would involve the use of semicolons.
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I was never very good with semicolons.

I am so ashamed.
From: angelajenessa Date: November 26th, 2003 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes - the use of ' is only correct if you are referring to a group of people named Jess (two or more). In words that end with an s it is correct to add an apostrophe s ('s) to the end - unless the following word begins with an s - if it does, then it is correct to use just the '.

Now of course this is MLA style - APA style calls somewhat differently - as does Chicago Style - but I tend to stick with MLA since it is the most widely used and best to fall back on. After teaching Edmund Strunk's Elements of Style many many times to College freshman I believe myself to be qualified to answer this question.
I think for awhile it was commonly accepted to use just the ' in all words that end with an s because it "looks nicer." It caught on like wildfire and people use it incorrectly - much like people tend to say "that is between you and I" because it sounds more proper - but in fact it isn't between you and I, it is between you and me.

Ah, grammar!
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: November 26th, 2003 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
APA does everything differently, and by differently, I mean insane.

-ia.
From: angelajenessa Date: November 26th, 2003 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha, oh yes!
komos From: komos Date: November 27th, 2003 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
So does the apostrophe get used differently in Chicago Style than it does in MLA, or is everyone "in the know" agreed that this is currently incorrect?
From: angelajenessa Date: November 27th, 2003 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Well I know it gets used differently in APA - long ago I quit paying attention to Chicago Style. I believe it has a slight rule difference but I cannot call upon it from memory. I think that all three mostly agree they just have a few different rules such as dropping the s at the end of the apostrophe if the next word begins with an s.

I think if you were writing an English paper (meaning like for an English class) then I would try and use it correctly -- otherwise if you were using it in any kind of correspondence or anything outside the realm of academia (and most academics that did not study English this would fly right past them anyway) I would just use whatever you see most highly used. Most people are not quite aware of the rule anyway.
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