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DTMark

Grammar Question

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Working on a jewellery website restructuring the categories.

Most sites have:

Men's Jewellery

Ladies' Jewellery

Why is the apostrophe before the s in mens, but after in ladies.. is the above grammatically right, or should they both have the apostrophe after the s?

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Men is plural. It's a standard possessive apostrophe.

Ladies is plural too, and the apostrophe is likewise possessive. But the following s is conventionally omitted from a word already ending in s.

Is this evidence that jewellers are more literate than greengrocer's[sic]?

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Men doesn't have an s at the end, hence apostrophe s. Ladies does, hence s apostrophe. Simples :)

Edit: Wot he said ^

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I think the problem is that plurals and possessives both end with s (dogs and dog's), so to avoid ambiguity you put the apostrophe after the s in a plural possessive: "dogs' toys". You run into problems with that if the singular already ends with an s though: "Tom Jones' trousers". Probably the most sensible thing would be to always use 's: "dogs's toys", "Tom Jones's trousers"; but that sounds silly.

Back to the original question. "Men" doesn't end with an s, so "men's" is OK. "Ladies", does end with an s though, so the apostrophe goes afterwards. "Ladie's" definitely woulnd't look right. I suppose the problem is that not all plurals end in s: "men", "fish", "sheep", and so on. It's hard to know what to do with these. "Men's" looks OK, but "fish's" looks wrong and "sheep's" is confusing because the singular is the same as the plural and you can't tell if tehre's one sheep involved or less. I think people have just made up random rules to deal with this kind of thing.

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I think the problem is that plurals and possessives both end with s (dogs and dog's), so to avoid ambiguity you put the apostrophe after the s in a plural possessive: "dogs' toys". You run into problems with that if the singular already ends with an s though: "Tom Jones' trousers". Probably the most sensible thing would be to always use 's: "dogs's toys", "Tom Jones's trousers"; but that sounds silly.

Back to the original question. "Men" doesn't end with an s, so "men's" is OK. "Ladies", does end with an s though, so the apostrophe goes afterwards. "Ladie's" definitely woulnd't look right. I suppose the problem is that not all plurals end in s: "men", "fish", "sheep", and so on. It's hard to know what to do with these. "Men's" looks OK, but "fish's" looks wrong and "sheep's" is confusing because the singular is the same as the plural and you can't tell if tehre's one sheep involved or less. I think people have just made up random rules to deal with this kind of thing.

^ is exactly my interpretation. While it has never kept me awake at night, I'd always wondered.

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And while we're on this topic, why is that grocer's get blamed for the grocers' apostrophe? It seems a long way from exclusive to purveyors of apples and cauliflowers.

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The whole possessive apostrophe thing started when English said for "John, his book". This was gradually shortened to "John's book", with the apostrophe indicating the word 'his' was missing. (Analogous to "do not" being shortened to "don't". I guess it was just to difficult to shorten "her"!

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And while we're on this topic, why is that grocer's get blamed for the grocers' apostrophe? It seems a long way from exclusive to purveyors of apples and cauliflowers.

Because they always seem to get the apostrophe in the wrong place!!

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Because they always seem to get the apostrophe in the wrong place!!

It's when I see signs like..

Apple's

£price/kilo

.. that I grimace and feel like some frustrated school-teacher.

Mind you if they didn't put the sign on, I'd never have known they were apples.. (end sarcasm mode)

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The whole possessive apostrophe thing started when English said for "John, his book". This was gradually shortened to "John's book", with the apostrophe indicating the word 'his' was missing. (Analogous to "do not" being shortened to "don't". I guess it was just to difficult to shorten "her"!

shurely, it was "John, hif book"

should be apostophe f?

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And while we're on this topic, why is that grocers get blamed for the grocers' apostrophe? It seems a long way from exclusive to purveyors of apples and cauliflowers.

FIFY.

Unless you were being ironic.

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I think the problem is that plurals and possessives both end with s (dogs and dog's), so to avoid ambiguity you put the apostrophe after the s in a plural possessive: "dogs' toys". You run into problems with that if the singular already ends with an s though: "Tom Jones' trousers". Probably the most sensible thing would be to always use 's: "dogs's toys", "Tom Jones's trousers"; but that sounds silly.

E.g. both of the following can be correct, as appropriate:

Dog's bоllocks (1 dog, 2 bоllocks)

Dogs' bоllocks (n dogs, 2xn bоllocks)

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It's when I see signs like..

Apple's

£price/kilo

.. that I grimace and feel like some frustrated school-teacher.

Mind you if they didn't put the sign on, I'd never have known they were apples.. (end sarcasm mode)

Annoys me too. Bloody metric prices.

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FIFY.

Unless you were being ironic.

I wa's.

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Annoys me too. Bloody metric prices.

You'd rather see apples priced in groats/peck!

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Working on a jewellery website restructuring the categories.

Most sites have:

Men's Jewellery

Ladies' Jewellery

Why is the apostrophe before the s in mens, but after in ladies.. is the above grammatically right, or should they both have the apostrophe after the s?

Also mens rea doesn't have an apostrophe but ladies' rea does.

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IIRC a groat was 1/63rd of a sovereign.

Pre-decimal coinage was really clever and practical.

1/63 of a guinea (one pound one shilling, started off as a pound but fluctuated with the price of gold), a groat being 4 pence. A sovereign's nominal value is a pound.

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1/63 of a guinea (one pound one shilling, started off as a pound but fluctuated with the price of gold), a groat being 4 pence. A sovereign's nominal value is a pound.

Oops, I should have spotted that mistake. Yes, I meant guinea.

Guineas are still used for pricing in some cattle auctions.

Groats are still minted for Maundy Money, but the face value is now 4p not 4d.

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