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Are you ready for this? Based on the Chicago Manual (see 6.19 to 6.30)
For general words:
"I would like the class's opinion" (a single class)
"I would like the classes' opinion" (more than one class)
For proper nouns:
I have to quote this section!
"How to form the possessive of polysyllabic personal names ending with
the sound of s or z probably occasions more dissension among writers and
editors than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement." What
do ya know, a controversy we haven't debated on this list yet!
Chicago prefers using 's regardless of whether the name ends in s or z
Jesus' and Moses'
any polysyllabic word with an unaccented ending pronounced eez, such as
Euripides' or Ramses'
but the manual also notes that many editors go with using apostrophe
only if a proper name ends in s or z. (It also notes that some use a
rule depending on whether is sounds like s or z, but lets not go into
So basically, Chicago recognizes both your choices, but prefers
> Russ's books were stolen
Sella Rush mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database