Advanced search

use of apostrophe with word ending in s

(75 Posts)
pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 22:43:43

tell me, tell me, tell me!

I was told today I was wrong and I am most upset.

If you were writing about a garden belomging to an octopus (do not question), would you write

an octopus's garden
an octopus' garden

is one right or are both right?

Overmydeadbody Fri 29-Aug-08 22:45:11

both are right I think.

Lots of differing opinion on this as far as I remember.

DontNeedAnything Fri 29-Aug-08 22:46:06

I would do Octopus'.

But I am crap at grammar.

edam Fri 29-Aug-08 22:46:08

I'd write 'an octopus's garden' but that's because I'd have the Beatles song in my head. Generally either is correct. You can have:

James's bag


James' bag

It's a matter of personal preference, ease of pronunciation and clarity.

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:04:00

oh yeeessssss! Ooooh yaaaasssss!

I knew both were correct. I am triumphant

Find me proof. I must go back with indisputable proof.

I was told that according to the King's Grammar (is it a book?) that only octopus' was correct. I will return victorious

undervalued Fri 29-Aug-08 23:04:19

Oooohhh Edam - well explained!!

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:06:28

someone used that James explanation against me. AGAINST me! They said it had to be James'. He is my new lin emanager.

I must have proof. VengeNCE shall be mine

Legoleia Fri 29-Aug-08 23:07:12

I think that in "eats shoots and leaves", Lynn Truss says that you should put the extra 's'. James's bag.

She says except in the case of Jesus, who just gets an apostrophe.

HeinzSight Fri 29-Aug-08 23:07:37

both right, one 'more modern' than other, my son is a James, so have often had this debate.

I choose just to add apostrophe after his name.

Legoleia Fri 29-Aug-08 23:08:12

I live near St James's Street, by the way. I suppose it could be an Olde Englishe type thing, though?!

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:09:51

which oine is more modern? The James's one?

thumbwitch Fri 29-Aug-08 23:09:55

I think it USED to be the case that it was only James' bag (or octopus' garden) but (and I can't find my copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves quickly enough to verify this) the extra s is now allowed too.

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:10:24

A peaceful sleep for me tonight

thumbwitch Fri 29-Aug-08 23:10:56

ah Legoleia, we have different recollections <shuffles around searching for book>

HeinzSight Fri 29-Aug-08 23:11:26

pretty sure the James's one is more modern

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:11:27

Get it up you, fat tony! (he of king;s grammar - what is that?)

Get it up you, new line manager!

And everyon else who sided with them. Ahaaaaa!

HeinzSight Fri 29-Aug-08 23:13:56

like Bridget Jones's Diary

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:15:54

Another good modern example, thank you.

I wish I was oging to work tomorrow

edam Fri 29-Aug-08 23:19:13

I thank you! <<bows, graciously>>

You should arm yourself with a copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage so you can stand your ground against new boss in any further grammatical or syntactical (I may have made that word up) disputes. Amazon

HeinzSight Fri 29-Aug-08 23:19:33

tell them to stick it up their arses grin

thumbwitch Fri 29-Aug-08 23:19:56

just found this link - and whilst it isn't strictly pertinent to the OP's question, it is quite funny!

Squiggly Fri 29-Aug-08 23:20:06

Message withdrawn

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:20:50

is this apostrophe business mentioned in Fowler's? Is it a match for King's?

(Wjhat is king's? Is it Grammar circa 1802?)

pointydog Fri 29-Aug-08 23:22:07

oh squiggly, I am all excited. I will wait to hear from your king's update before I have a bath

Squiggly Fri 29-Aug-08 23:22:16

Message withdrawn

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: