Re: Resumes and SMEs, Years v. Years'

Subject: Re: Resumes and SMEs, Years v. Years'
From: rose -at- ITLS -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 15:04:31 -0500

> She also could not find a supporting reference. By mutual agreement,
> we are throwing the question out to the list: should it be years' or
> years?
>
> -Kevin Montgomery

I also was wondering who decided that not using an apostrophe is an
error. According to Gowers, you can take it or leave it, although he
favours taking it (Fowler himself doesn't mention it in the
"possessive puzzles" entry in his original book). The Chicago Manual
of Style says to use it, but without any discussion. My editor says
leave it out. The other writer here thinks my time might be more
productively spent wondering whether anal retentive is hyphenated (old
joke, I know, but that was her comment).

Since we're talking about resumes, I checked several career ads in
Monday's Globe & Mail (Toronto's national newspaper). I looked mainly
at ads that were large, attractive, or from prominent companies. Many
avoided the construction, but of the rest:

9 did not use the apostrophe
2 did use the apostrophe
3 used "of" instead

Companies not using the apostrophe included IBM, Corel, Coopers &
Lybrand, and Sears.

Using the apostrophe looks non-standard to me, but I'd probably use
"of" instead to avoid the issue.

Maurice Rose
rose -at- itls -dot- com

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