Posted by: episystechpubs | November 10, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Possessive Finale

Let’s end our discussion of the possessive with one of the topics that can be more confusing to folks. What do you do to indicate that two people own one gargoyle? What do you do to indicate that two people each own separate cauldrons? Here is the “Joint versus separate possession” article from the Chicago Manual of Style.

Closely linked nouns are considered a single unit in forming the possessive when the thing being “possessed” is the same for both; only the second element takes the possessive form.

· my aunt and uncle’s house

· Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe

· Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s transportation system

When the things possessed are discrete, both nouns take the possessive form.

· my aunt’s and uncle’s medical profiles

· Dylan’s and Jagger’s hairlines

· New York’s and Chicago’s transportation systems

· Gilbert’s or Sullivan’s mustache

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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