singular possessive

Grammar Lesson: Bridget Jones’s Diary

For my first contribution to Mean Week, I want to address something that bugs the living hell out of me: when attributing singular possessive nouns ending in the letter -s-, nothing changes from the way in which you attribute singular possessive nouns ending in other letters. Just add an apostrophe -s-. That is all. Don’t change anything or do anything differently. This is very, very simple.

For example:

Philip Roth’s novels are boring as fuck.
Ben Marcus’s novels are fun.

You see how I did that?

I did not write: Ben Marcus’ novels are fun.
[Because that doesn’t make any sense – Ben Marcus is one dude, not plural dudes.]

I also did not write: Ben Marcu’s novels are fun.
[Because that makes no sense. His name is Marcus, not Marcu.]

Not sure why so many people are incapable of understanding this simple punctuation, but I notice these mistakes occurring  all the time — and it drives me bonkers!

Mean / 77 Comments
October 26th, 2009 / 1:44 pm