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Old 09-10-2016, 05:52 PM   #1
OliviaM
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Apostrophes

One of my leads has a name that ends in s. It's too late to change it and I wouldn't want to anyway, but showing possession is giving me a headache. I've looked it up and the rule doesn't seem clear to me. Some say you should use the phonetic spelling, Giles's. I strongly prefer it with only the apostrophe, no s.

Giles' arm
Giles's arm

Which is correct?
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaM View Post
One of my leads has a name that ends in s. It's too late to change it and I wouldn't want to anyway, but showing possession is giving me a headache. I've looked it up and the rule doesn't seem clear to me. Some say you should use the phonetic spelling, Giles's. I strongly prefer it with only the apostrophe, no s.

Giles' arm
Giles's arm

Which is correct?
I believe its the first, but I'd wait for Pilot or another grammar pro to confirm that.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaM View Post
One of my leads has a name that ends in s. It's too late to change it and I wouldn't want to anyway, but showing possession is giving me a headache. I've looked it up and the rule doesn't seem clear to me. Some say you should use the phonetic spelling, Giles's. I strongly prefer it with only the apostrophe, no s.

Giles' arm
Giles's arm

Which is correct?
I learned it as "Giles' arm" and that's how I prefer to read it.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I learned it as "Giles' arm" and that's how I prefer to read it.
If you read it aloud "giles's" sounds pretty bad, but you never know with the English language.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:21 PM   #5
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I'd use Giles' arm. With the s ending the name, the second s is implied. Don't know if it's "correct", but it's commonly seen that way.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:30 PM   #6
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I probably irked the shit outta my readers in "A Slut's Triangle" with the possessive use on Kryss being spelled Kryss's but, hey it's a little too late to go back and edit 9 chapters. So, I will carry the spelling throughout the storyline and not worry about it myself.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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Paraphrased from Oxford Guide to English Usage

In British English you would normally add an apostrophe and s to a singular and only an apostrophe after a plural that ends in s;

Bill's book
A girls' school

But singular nouns ending in s should add 's for possessive:

boss's; Burns's poetry; Thomas's

Plurals omit the s

bosses'; the Thomases' dog

But French names that end in a silent s are followed by 's

Dumas's novel

Names ending in -es pronounced -iz are treated as plural and take only the apostrophe:

Hodges'; Moses' [Og's interpretation - but not Giles' that should be Giles's]

Classical names, by convention, use the apostrophe only however they are pronounced:

Venus' Ceres' Xerxes'

But Jesus as a possessive is Jesus' in religious writing and Jesus's in normal references.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:39 PM   #8
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Giles' arm is correct - see Strunk and White as a reference if you wish, it's pretty short, and you can get used copies for pennies on Amazon or used book stores. It is somewhat dated now in certain usage conventions (such as use of the passive vs active voices) but in this, it works.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:48 PM   #9
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According to the Chicago Manual of Style, if Giles was a plural form of Gile, then the possessive would be Giles'.

Since Giles is a singular noun, the plural is Giles's.


Edit: Basically what Ogg said, but my internet is down, so I'm fumbling around on my phone.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:50 PM   #10
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Giles's arm is correct.

The second format only applies to possessive plurals:

The girls' arms (meaning the arms of two or more girls)
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:58 PM   #11
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You see? This is giving me fits.

Now I'm starting to wonder if this is another example of British vs American usage, or older styles vs newer ones.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaM View Post
You see? This is giving me fits.

Now I'm starting to wonder if this is another example of British vs American usage, or older styles vs newer ones.
Ogg is British (I think), and I'm American, so I doubt it's that.
And when it's a matter of old vs. new, I think the answer is clear
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
Paraphrased from Oxford Guide to English Usage

Names ending in -es pronounced -iz are treated as plural and take only the apostrophe:

Hodges'; Moses' [Og's interpretation - but not Giles' that should be Giles's]
Is this because Giles isn't a classical name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
Giles' arm is correct - see Strunk and White as a reference if you wish, it's pretty short, and you can get used copies for pennies on Amazon or used book stores. It is somewhat dated now in certain usage conventions (such as use of the passive vs active voices) but in this, it works.
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Originally Posted by EverLux View Post
According to the Chicago Manual of Style, if Giles was a plural form of Gile, then the possessive would be Giles'.

Since Giles is a singular noun, the plural is Giles's.


Edit: Basically what Ogg said, but my internet is down, so I'm fumbling around on my phone.
Oh, duh. I have both of these books. Thanks, guys. I will doublecheck.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaM View Post
You see? This is giving me fits.

Now I'm starting to wonder if this is another example of British vs American usage, or older styles vs newer ones.
For Lit, the Chicago Manual of Style is supposed to settle the discussion.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
Giles' arm is correct - see Strunk and White as a reference if you wish, it's pretty short, and you can get used copies for pennies on Amazon or used book stores. It is somewhat dated now in certain usage conventions (such as use of the passive vs active voices) but in this, it works.
I don't own the reference, myself, but I found this online:

"Form the possessive singular of nouns with 's.

Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write,

Charles's friend
Burns's poems
the witch's malice"

http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk.html

Edit: It's apparently the AP and MLA that prefer just the apostrophe, without the s. But along the lines of what NotWise said, CMoS is the go-to reference for writing non-journalistic writing.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaM View Post
You see? This is giving me fits.

Now I'm starting to wonder if this is another example of British vs American usage, or older styles vs newer ones.
change the name?
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haulover View Post
Giles's arm is correct.

The second format only applies to possessive plurals:

The girls' arms (meaning the arms of two or more girls)
This is correct in U.S. style (Chicago Manual of Style, 7.15-7.18). Glad it came up, though, as the CMS had reversed this in its 15th edition and come back to it in its 16th edition, and I didn't realize that until this question came up.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by geronimo_appleby View Post
change the name?
Blasphemy!!

Besides, she's already posted Part 1.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by EverLux View Post
Blasphemy!!

Besides, she's already posted Part 1.
the character goes into witness protection and has to change names?
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by EverLux View Post
Blasphemy!!

Besides, she's already posted Part 1.
Yup, and I think I used Giles' more than once.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:46 PM   #21
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Yup, and I think I used Giles' more than once.
I've been doing that for a few years too, not realizing that the CMS has changed the rule again.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:48 PM   #22
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I've been doing that for a few years too, not realizing that the CMS has changed the rule again.
I'm convinced they just want to ensure that writers and editors will purchase each new volume that comes out. Although I believe you can access most, if not all of it on their website.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:50 PM   #23
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I've been doing that for a few years too, not realizing that the CMS has changed the rule again.
Would it be best to stick with one style for as long as I'm writing about this character?
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:53 PM   #24
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Would it be best to stick with one style for as long as I'm writing about this character?
Stick with one style within a work, of course, but I don't think it will matter if you change between segments of a series. Probably doesn't matter much if you stick with what you started with in that series either. If you changed and some anal retentive reader pointed to the difference, you could just say the CMS keeps flip-flopping on it itself.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:54 PM   #25
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Would it be best to stick with one style for as long as I'm writing about this character?
I think you should add a disclaimer about it at the beginner of part two. Just to be on the safe side
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