Re: User's, Users, Users'

Subject: Re: User's, Users, Users'
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 07:55:43 -0700 (PDT)

--- hillc -at- ctcorp -dot- com wrote:
> I would love some input. The guide I am finishing is similar to a game
> manual to be included in a DVD case. It is very basic and addresses
> installation and scenario set-up. The sections are divided by user type
> with Section 2 for the single user, and Section 3 for multi-users (Trainer
> and Trainee). The cover of the guide is also simple with the name of the
> product at top right, picture in the center, and Users Guide centered on
> bottom. I've had feedback from various sources who have all quoting me
> various grammatical rules as to why it should be User's, or Users, or
> Users'. Is there a standard? Is there a right way and wrong way?

Is there a standard? Not that I can tell. As has already been pointed out, there are
four possibilities, and the assiduous researcher can find examples of each.

Is there a right way and wrong way? Yes to both parts of this question. It's going
to come down to how you view your audience, and how your audience views themselves.
*I* would write "Users' Guide" because I see it as multiple users all possessing a
guide written for them, hence the plural possessive.

However, I don't think that any but nitpicking grammarians (of which I am one, I
admit) will really care. Your audience knows the book is for them and has
expectations about what it will contain, which is what they're really interested in.
So, I wouldn't obsess over it. Just be sure you use the title consistently. Somebody
will question whatever choice you make, so be prepared for that.

But it's really not that big a deal. (Did I really say that? <g>)

Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com Last Updated 08/18/02
--The opinions expressed in this email are least I think they're mine...I'm almost positive.--

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