Correct spelling

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TerryRodgers
 
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Correct spelling

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:59 am

. . . missing persons report . . .

If the report is on multiple people as it would be, how is persons spelled in this example: person's or persons'.

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louiseh87
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby louiseh87 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:04 am

Surely neither, unless its the missing persons who are making the report?

I may be wrong.
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shadowwalker
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:09 am

Yeah, it's not a possessive. It's a report about a missing person or missing persons.
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deloughy
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby deloughy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:11 am

I am going to attempt to answer this even though I'm probably wrong, but I feel like taking a shot at it.

Person is singular, so its possessive form would be person's.

Persons is plural, so its possessive form would be persons'.

However, I think "missing persons" is just the title of the report and isn't meant to show possession. It's just meant to categorize people who are missing. It's not the missing person's (or persons') report, it's a police report. The possession of the report belongs to the police, not the missing people.

Like I said, I'm probably wrong, but I wonder about things like this all the time, like for instance, if it's people's or peoples' since the word people already is plural. I feel like exercising my brain today, so I answered. :)
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mammamaia
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby mammamaia » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:21 am

ditto sw... it's simply a report that covers 'missing persons' [as in 'people']...
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pls
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby pls » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:50 am

deloughy is correct. No apostrophe is needed.

I don't know what it is about the letter "s" on the ends of words that makes some want to stick apostrophes before or after it. Probably the same affectation that causes others to drop the comma in a series of three or more. Makes me want to bash mailboxes when I see aberrations like "The Smith's" pasted on them. The Smith's what? Mailbox? Take that: *whack*.

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updog
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby updog » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:36 am

pls wrote: The Smith's what? Mailbox?


Yes. I think that's exactly what people mean when they write it that way. Also, the Smith's house. The reason I think this is because my cousin made me a sign for my house with that awful apostrophe included. I was embarrassed to put it up, because in my mind it's wrong. But my husband saw it the other way--that the sign means it's our house. This is the McKay's house. You've come to the right place. ;)

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TerryRodgers
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:57 pm

Thank you everyone. :D

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allz28
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby allz28 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:24 pm

pls wrote:deloughy is correct. No apostrophe is needed.

I don't know what it is about the letter "s" on the ends of words that makes some want to stick apostrophes before or after it. Probably the same affectation that causes others to drop the comma in a series of three or more. Makes me want to bash mailboxes when I see aberrations like "The Smith's" pasted on them. The Smith's what? Mailbox? Take that: *whack*.


So if I had a mailbox with my name on it, how should it be written? The Lucas' or The Lucas's or The Lucas or The Lucases or what?

I'd probably just put "The Lucas Family," but still, what would be proper?

I always thought of it the way Vonny's husband does. But names ending in s are confusing.

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pls
 
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Re: Correct spelling

Postby pls » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:37 pm

allz28 wrote:
pls wrote:deloughy is correct. No apostrophe is needed.

I don't know what it is about the letter "s" on the ends of words that makes some want to stick apostrophes before or after it. Probably the same affectation that causes others to drop the comma in a series of three or more. Makes me want to bash mailboxes when I see aberrations like "The Smith's" pasted on them. The Smith's what? Mailbox? Take that: *whack*.


So if I had a mailbox with my name on it, how should it be written? The Lucas' or The Lucas's or The Lucas or The Lucases or what?

I'd probably just put "The Lucas Family," but still, what would be proper?

I always thought of it the way Vonny's husband does. But names ending in s are confusing.


Apostrophes are not used with noun plurals, with the exception of single letters or numbers: "Cross your T's and 7's." So the correct answer would be "Lucases". "Smiths". "Joneses". But why not just use your last name? Much simpler.

And Vonny - don't MAKE me get my ball bat out!

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