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Burns' Night/Burns's Night?

5 replies

IWishIKnewHow · 04/08/2009 14:13

[Sneaks in quietly and sits at the back, then raises hand tentatively]

Hello all, I'm new to MN, but you seem like just the sort of ladies who could help with my query. Should it be Burns' Night or Burns's Night?

I know that it's commonly known as Burns' Night, but shouldn't it really be Burns's Night? Burns is, after all, a singular name.

I'm spending far too much time thinking about this and would really appreciate a definitive answer!

Thank you very much.

OP posts:
verytiredmummy · 04/08/2009 14:17

I don't think it's got an apostrophe at all. It's a night celebrating him, rather than his night in my opinion. So it would be like Shakespeare Night or Enid Blyton Night. I think it's got confused because Burns ends in an S. So I think it should just be Burns Night.

But yes, if it did have an apostrophe then it should be Burns's Night.

Tinker · 04/08/2009 14:20

If things belong to someone whose name ends in s then it can just be s' - ie James' toy. James's is also correct.

UnquietDad · 04/08/2009 14:29

Yes, I agree with verytired. I'm inclined to think "Burns" is used adjectivally - it's a "night of Burns celebrations."

For comparison here is a link to a Dickens Day !

smee · 04/08/2009 14:36

I agree - Burns is fine, no apostrophe needed.

IWishIKnewHow · 04/08/2009 20:19

Thanks all!

OP posts:
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