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MidnightMuse
07-25-2006, 12:56 AM
The proper way to convey, for instance, this door belongs to Babs would be:

"There were now five harpoons embedded in Babs's door" (??)

Not only does that sound awkward when spoken, it looks odd. But it is correct, yes?

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2006, 01:18 AM
The proper way to convey, for instance, this door belongs to Babs would be:

"There were now five harpoons embedded in Babs's door" (??)

Not only does that sound awkward when spoken, it looks odd. But it is correct, yes?

Techincally, yes, it is correct. But I don't do it, and I've never had an editor complain. Sometimes tehcnically correct looks horrible or reads horrible, and I think this is one of those times.

MidnightMuse
07-25-2006, 01:35 AM
Thank you. Yes, I've been finding other ways to word any sentence that requires such a use, simply because - correct or not - it's very unattractive and feels odd even on the tongue.

Silver King
07-25-2006, 01:45 AM
I might be on shaky ground here, but why not place the apostrophe after the first S, and drop the second S? "Babs' door."

Cathy C
07-25-2006, 01:53 AM
The new fiction standard, according to my editor, is to place a second 's' after. So, "Babs's" Personally, I hate it. But the publisher insists, so at the end of the book, I search for s, apostrophe, space to see how many I missed. She still has to fix a few. Sigh... :(

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2006, 02:22 AM
I might be on shaky ground here, but why not place the apostrophe after the first S, and drop the second S? "Babs' door."

That's exactly what I do. The other way looks tacky, reads poorly, and, as I said, no editor has ever said to not do it.

MidnightMuse
07-25-2006, 02:25 AM
As in: Two Weeks' Notice ? Yes, it's much easier on the eye and mental ear.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2006, 02:29 AM
The new fiction standard, according to my editor, is to place a second 's' after. So, "Babs's" Personally, I hate it. But the publisher insists, so at the end of the book, I search for s, apostrophe, space to see how many I missed. She still has to fix a few. Sigh... :(

I think your editor is out of date. This was being debated when I was in college back in the 70s, with many calling the second "s" the new fiction standard then.

Of course, if the next word also begins with an "s" you're supposed to drop the one after the apostrophe. You should never write "Babs's suitcase." No one wants three eses in a row. And you aren't supposed to use an es after the apostrophe in "Jesus'."

Too much of a double standard for me. I think the extra es should either be there or not. When you start making exceptions, it's time to get rid of it altogether.

So I leave it off. My editors, at least, like it fine this way, and so do readers.

reph
07-25-2006, 02:41 AM
As in: Two Weeks' Notice ? Yes, it's much easier on the eye and mental ear."Two weeks' notice" is different. It doesn't get a second S because "weeks" is a plural ending in S.

We talked about -'s and -s's recently. Maybe I can find the thread.

* * *

Here's one of the threads on this subject: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28205

MidnightMuse
07-25-2006, 02:44 AM
Well, yes, you're right - I was mistaken using that example.

But "The harpoons embedded in Babs' door were . . ." ? ?

reph
07-25-2006, 02:48 AM
I think "Babs' door" looks better, or it would if it didn't have all those frightening harpoons in it, but "Babs's door" matches the way we say it. Fortunately, I don't have to decide how anyone else shall possessify.

MidnightMuse
07-25-2006, 02:54 AM
Thank you :)

jchines
07-25-2006, 03:26 AM
I was actually talking to my editor about this a few weeks back. What she told me was to use the apostrophe without the extra s, so it would be "Jim Hines' book." This was the rule they followed as a publisher. Other publishers may follow other style guidelines.

If you have a publisher, they can tell you what their preferred style is. Otherwise, pick one and stick with it until someone tells you otherwise. Someone who's paying you for your work, that is :)

Cathy C
07-25-2006, 03:46 AM
I think your editor is out of date.

Well, she's only 27, but I'll let her know... :roll:

It really does depend on the publisher. I envy the rest of you that get to do it the way I'd rather. :(

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2006, 05:55 AM
Well, she's only 27, but I'll let her know... :roll:

It really does depend on the publisher. I envy the rest of you that get to do it the way I'd rather. :(

Ah, a young one. That explains why she would think it's the "new standard." She wasn't around when it was the new standard thirty years ago.

Marlys
07-26-2006, 10:31 PM
The Chicago Manual of Style is the standard for many publishers, and they go with the extra s, unless the noun is plural. So: Dickens's novels, but the Williamses' house. Exceptions: nouns that are plural in form, but singular in meaning (economics' forerunners), names of more than two syllables that end in an eez sound (the Ganges' source), singular words & names ending with an unpronounced s (Descartes' dreams), and for...sake expressions (their example: for Jesus' sake, but: Jesus's contemporaries).

They do acknowledge that there's controversy, adding, "Since feelings on these matters sometimes run high, users of this manual may wish to modify or add to the exceptions."

I generally try to follow Chicago unless told differently, since it's so widely used.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2006, 11:41 PM
The Chicago Manual of Style is the standard for many publishers, and they go with the extra s, unless the noun is plural. So: Dickens's novels, but the Williamses' house. Exceptions: nouns that are plural in form, but singular in meaning (economics' forerunners), names of more than two syllables that end in an eez sound (the Ganges' source), singular words & names ending with an unpronounced s (Descartes' dreams), and for...sake expressions (their example: for Jesus' sake, but: Jesus's contemporaries).

They do acknowledge that there's controversy, adding, "Since feelings on these matters sometimes run high, users of this manual may wish to modify or add to the exceptions."

I generally try to follow Chicago unless told differently, since it's so widely used.

I have a simple rule when it comes to Chicago and publishers. Don't use it on me. There was a time when Chicago was a good manual, but recent editions are so wishy-washy on style issues they're often useless. But I've found many editors use Chicago for publishing questions, that's what it's best used for, but use Strunk & White for style questions, so we get along pretty well.

Becky Writes
08-05-2006, 09:30 PM
It's becasue of this, I try to stay away from names that end in -s.

maestrowork
08-05-2006, 10:30 PM
Many people prefer "Babs' door" instead of "Babs's door." Many publishers new use the latter, at least for fiction -- it really depends on the house styles.