years vs years'

Subject: years vs years'
From: Bruce Brill <Bruceb -at- ACCENTSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 16:47:33 +0200

<<On: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 15:22:42 -0500
Joanne from: cjs10 -at- CORNELL -dot- EDU wrote
Re: Resumes and SMEs, Years v. Years':

Melissa & Kevin

You're bringing up an old form which still holds: Two years'
experience; a week's time, an hour's wait, three days' work...

The Chicago Manual of style (among
others) will explain that this is not your garden-variety possessive;
it's based on the genitive case (yeah, English used to have one) which
is the case that governs belonging, or possession.

Joanna>>

Hi Joanna & all,

My initial feeling on this question was to agree with Joanna and The
Chicago Manual of Style and opt for using the apostrophe; but,
precisely thanks to both Joanna's reference to The Chicago Manual of
Style, I have changed my mind. Note: One could reword the title of
_The Chicago Manual of Style_ to "_The Chicago Style Manual_", but
never "_The Chicago Style's Manual_." Therefore, thanks to "_The
Chicago Manual of Style_," [quotes here indicate a title, not
ridicule] I dare to disagree with _The Chicago Manual of Style_.

Bruce Brill


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Bruce Brill <bruceb -at- accentsoft -dot- com>

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