Advanced search

Apostrophe question

(16 Posts)
Butterbur Fri 15-Jul-11 14:10:08

Is it "A good nights sleep",

or "A good night's sleep".

If it's the first, why?

LawrieMarlow Fri 15-Jul-11 14:13:06

A good night's sleep.

The sleep belongs to the night.

I am now looking at it and starting to doubt myself of course smile

I think that possibly in years to come that apostophes will start to be omitted more (ie Harrods used to be Harrod's)

Monty27 Fri 15-Jul-11 14:14:56

Yes A good night's sleep as with Lawrie

simbo Fri 15-Jul-11 14:15:54

Nope, it is the second one. For the reasons given by the previous respondent. Dropping apostrophes is a stylistic matter, since Mr Harrod no longer owns the store.

RustyBear Fri 15-Jul-11 14:15:54

The second is correct, as the sleep 'belongs' to a (single) night.

wellwisher Fri 15-Jul-11 14:16:41

Yes, it's a good night's sleep! But Lawrie, I think you mean e.g. not i.e. smile <pedant>

Butterbur Fri 15-Jul-11 15:30:58

Phew. That seems very logical, and what I thought. DS said his English teacher had crossed it out, so I was doubting myself. i expect it was a slip of the pen.

Hevian Sat 16-Jul-11 06:39:04

I expect it was just another illiterate teacher!

iggagog Sat 16-Jul-11 07:18:18

As a teacher I normally defend my colleagues but when it comes to apostrophes, teachers are as bad as the rest of the population!

MrMan Sat 16-Jul-11 07:30:23

Just want to add that it is correct that there should be a possessive apostrophe here (night's) but it drives me crazy when someone incorrectly uses it with a personal pronoun (her's instead of hers). so very very wrong. angry

RustyBear Sat 16-Jul-11 08:42:53

MrMan - does it annoy you when Jane Austen does it? grin

StealthPolarBear Sat 16-Jul-11 08:46:57

Does she really?

MrMan Sat 16-Jul-11 09:02:23

Well, I mean what you expect from someone who was home-schooled?
<puts on helmet>

RustyBear Sat 16-Jul-11 09:08:16

Yes, in some editions - apparently there were two styles in use at the time, and the one without the apostrophe eventually won.

Though whether the use of the apostrophe was her's grin or put in by her editor/publisher I don't know.

StealthPolarBear Sat 16-Jul-11 09:15:38

Being pedantic I probably should have said "did she really?" as I doubt she does now grin

RustyBear Sat 16-Jul-11 09:37:52

So should I!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: