Grammar question?

Subject: Grammar question?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)" <moshe -dot- kruger -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 08:14:44 -0400

Moshe Kruger wondered: <<Apostix (an imaginary name) is very similar
(especially the last three letters) to the real name of one of my
clients. What should be the genitive (possessive) form of the name?>>

You're overthinking this: Apostix's.

Pretty much any English word can be turned into a possessive by adding
the apostrophe-s. You can even do that with words that end in "s",
though by convention, we usually don't. Some believe that a possessive
can only be done for living things (or even more exclusively, for
humans), but that's simply incorrect. "The dog's paws" is not only
more idiomatic than "the paws of the dog", it's also shorter (ditto
for "the world's problems" and its inverse).

Note that if you find the x's awkward, it's simple to avoid the
problem by judicious rewriting once you establish the context
(Apostix): "the company's solutions include", "our/these/the
aforementioned solutions", "solutions offered by Apostix", etc. Most
readers will appreciate not being marketed over the head with the
company name every sentence, so use pronouns and these other revisions
more frequently than the company name.

<<What is certain is that an apostrophe must be added. It is untenable
to write: Apostix real-time solutions.>>

It's not at all untenable if you preface the phrase with an article
("the Apostix solutions", "an Apostix solution"). In English, any noun
can be used adjectivally in this way. Trust me on this... it's not
just a Geoff thing. <g>

Geoff Hart (
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Grammar question: From: Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)

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