Re: Blasted Apostrophes (Was Years v. Years')

Subject: Re: Blasted Apostrophes (Was Years v. Years')
From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 07:33:39 -0700

Virginia Hayden wrote:
>We have an ongoing debate here as to whether a software manual should be
>titled Users Guide or User's Guide. What's the consensus out there?

=======
I prefer to drop the apostrophe in this case. The reference guide I like
to use (The New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage)
says the following:

"Although an apostrophe is not incorrect in terms like the following,
increasingly it is omitted when the sense of the term is descriptive
rather than possessive--that is, when *for* is meant rather than *of*."

It gives the following examples:

teachers college
boys clubs
Merchants Bank
officers club
users manual

I think omitting it is a much simpler solution than worrying about
whether is should be users' or user's.

It did not escape me that the very reference I cited uses the apostrophe
in its own title: Writer's Guide.

>Bev Parks
>parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil
>

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