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Scant evidence of my madness - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Scant evidence of my madness
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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.

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.
25 comments or Leave a comment