Posted by: episystechpubs | November 5, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Yes, Virginia–There Are More Possessive Rules!

Just when you thought you’d seen all there was to see about the possessive forms of nouns, I’m here to bring you more! Even the title of this section sounds a little kooky: “Possessive of nouns plural in form, singular in meaning.” What could the Chicago Manual of Style be talking about? Let’s have a look:

When the singular form of a noun ending in s is the same as the plural (i.e., the plural is uninflected), the possessives of both are formed by the addition of an apostrophe only. If ambiguity threatens, use of to avoid the possessive.

· politics’ true meaning

· economics’ forerunners

· this species’ first record (or, better, the first record of this species)

The same rule applies when the name of a place or an organization or a publication (or the last element in the name) is a plural form ending in s, such as the United States, even though the entity is singular.

· the United States’ role in international law

· Highland Hills’ late mayor

· Callaway Gardens’ former curator

· the National Academy of Sciences’ new policy

But wait! There’s more! Since it is almost the weekend, though, I will give you a break and continue with these rules next week.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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