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Monday, July 23, 2012

Jonesing the Joneses on Apostrophe Day

When you have a name that ends in “s” (like Jones), and you want to write that it owns something, use the apostrophe-s: Mike Jones’ new book. And when you want to show the whole Jones family as owning something, you have a choice: 1) add apostrophe-s to all the Joneses (plural) — as in Joneses’s — or 2) simply add the apostrophe (Joneses’). I like the simple things in life.

What to do with a name that ends in two esses? Now there’s a problem! Or is it? Same advice as above:
The iPad belonging to Tess is Tess’s iPad.
or The iPad belonging to Tess is Tess’ iPad. 
 If you’re talking about the entire John Tess family car, you may get hissed to pieces… or not. Try:  
The Tesses’ family car. Simple and sweet.
The Tesses’s family car. Not incorrect, but it hisses so!
Just don’t call it the Tess guyses’ car!

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