As promised, here’s the continuation of our mini-lesson on apostrophes! I’m so glad you’ve found this series helpful, and a big thanks to so many of you for all of your suggestions and grammar questions. Keep ’em coming!
Names and proper nouns that end in -s seem to be a point of confusion and grammar anxiety for many; is it Charles’s pancakes or Charles’ pancakes? A dilemma for sure. Lucky for you, there’s an easy answer:
…it’s whatever you want it to be!
Technically, it’s a matter of what style guide you follow. Some style guides will tell you to pretty much always add -‘s to a word, regardless of it ending in a final -s (plural nouns are a bit different, if you remember from Apostrophes part 1). The Associated Press stylebook, however, recommends dropping the extra ‘s’ and going the route of “Charles’ pancakes”.
Some argue that if you would say the extra -s aloud while talking about “Charles’s pancakes” or “Dickens’s book”, then you should write -‘s. But again, it’s up to you and the style guide you follow. Personally, I like to clean up my writing and ditch the extra -s.
Are you an -‘s person, or do you take the minimalist, AP stylebook route too?
A play on the misquoted phrase “for all intents and purposes”, Intensive Purposes tackles one grammar rule or English language tip — from proper punctuation to misused phrases — in an easy-to-understand mini-lesson.