brought to you by the letter z

Just a quick tip on possessives today: While AP style prefers not to add an extra s when making a word that ends in s possessive, you should add an s when the word ends in z (even though it sounds similar).

Tiger Woods’ indiscretions proved to be a public relations disaster.

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s engagement to Rose McGowan ended in October 2009.

Likewise, add the s to words that end in x, ce or other s sounds.

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2 responses to “brought to you by the letter z

  1. Just looking for a clarification: Doesn’t that rule from AP apply only to PROPER nouns? I believe the rule for common nouns ending in S is somewhat different.

  2. Laura, AP uses that rule for all nouns that end in ‘s’ sounds, not just proper ones. The exception is a couple of expressions: for appearance’ sake, for conscience’ sake. However, it does note that ‘some style guides’ follow a different rule. I find Chicago kind of unclear on the subject, but my best interpretation is that it agrees with AP. Maybe you’re thinking of MLA or AMA? Thanks for writing in!

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