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Spelling Nazi

The interim pastor here has a last name ending in s. For the bon voyage celebration for his family, the announcement sent to me began, "Join us in celebrating the ______s'!" Since this is like nails on a blackboard for the English minor in me, I corrected it to read "...______ses!" before publication. Apparently this caused quite a stir and laugh in some circles, even being referred to as "Hobbit spelling." So said interim pastor tried to "set me straight" today, resulting in my having to look it up and provide the following response:
From: banzai
To: Interim Pastor
CC: Bonehead
Subject: On ______ses

From http://www.sharpwriter.com/aaacontent/apostrophe.htm :
Simple plural nouns do not take apostrophes. Special, joy, and grandma are pluralized with a plain s. Words that end in an s sound, like boss or buzz, get an es ending. That includes proper nouns. Mr. and Mrs. Withers are the Witherses (not the Withers'), and their dog is the Witherses' dog. Forms like Withers' are appearing more often in writing these days, but the above rule is the original.
It can appear however you like in the OW (it's your name), but this is in fact the rule. Just let me know by noon Thursday.

Please feel free to forward and share with anyone concerned with my editing.
When will people learn to just listen to me?

P.S. He still wants to have it revised to read "______s'," regardless of the fact that it's wrong.


My last name ends with an "s" as well, and I've been involved in many spelling battles over that issue.

So does mine, yet still they do not listen. Pearls before swine.
it's hard enough to stop people from doing the "'s" when making a name plural that doesn't end in s. can you imagine the trouble you're causing by insisting people get it right? :)

i think on your next publication, you should do the entire think in the voice of gollum.
or the entire thing, if you prefer.

Tricksy, they are. Tricksy and false. We hates 'em.

I'm so glad I read the comments and not just the entries.

Both made me laugh.

Yourses truly,
The Vosler's
You just taught me something new. I've been writing Lewis' this whole time . . . and all along I should have been writing Lewises. Weird.
See? You listen. Now if you paid me to know these things, you'd have no choice but to ignore me in a puff of idiocy.

This is why I try to minimize my contact with humans.
Bah indeed. If anyone wants to pay me to let them continue to be/come off as ignorant, that's something I can do just as well from home.
why would someone want to look like a public dumbass?
Color me baffled. A bit irritated (miffed, perhaps), but mostly baffled. This will be a ground rule for the new pastor in January. Doing this is just silly.
How very provoking!


no one ever listens...

...but I did! Thank you for explaining it like that... I had been doing it incorrectly and after reading this post, used the last name thing correctly in an im last night.
I'm sorry these people don't seem to care - they should listen to you! Some people are just too prideful to admit they're wrong even when shown the truth. :-/


Re: no one ever listens...

At least somebody got some good out of it!
this seems an appropriate time to sing the grammar song:


I think so...

very appropriate. It's amazes me at how little some people know how to use grammar.

Re: I think so...

It's amazes me too. :)
That was investiga-awesome!
What's the proper form of the possesive of a proper noun that ends in "s"? This has caused me confusion. I should just look it up. I would rather ask you. Is it "Thomas'" or "Thomas's" or "Thomaseses"...
You've come to the right place; part of the answer is actually in the entry above: Mr. and Mrs. Withers are the Witherses (not the Withers'), and their dog is the Witherses' dog. But if it's just something that belongs to Thomas himself, it's Thomas's or Thomas' (either is acceptable). That's my understanding. I have ruled.
Oh, good. I have used both & I was sure I was wrong with one or the other. Both look so awkward. Thank you for your ruling.