February 19th, 2008


Possessives and Sibilants

What is the correct way to use a possessive when a person's name ends in "s"? Is the rule the same for making possessives for plurals? (with Stargate SG-1 examples)

Let's take these one at a time.

Possessive form of words ending with sibilants (s, ch, sh, z or x)

Possessives of a singular noun are always formed by added an apostrophe and s, even if the word ends in a sibilant sound.

Jack found Anubis's frumpy hood-and-cloak ensemble to be more laughable than threatening.

The Nox's homeworld was deceptively low-tech in appearance.

The SGC was hoping the harcesis's knowledge could bring down the goa'uld.

The imprisoned team was mightily relieved to hear Col. Reynolds's voice on their radios.

Please note that it is never "Col. Reynold's voice"—the s is an integral part of his name. [Hint: When in doubt, switch formats to "the voice of Col. Reynolds." However you see the name/noun written, add the possessive after that.]

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