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apostrophe question (1 Viewer)

Xander416

Senior Member
Not targeting this at anyone here, but I've seen so many people misuse apostrophes in this fashion that it's become one of my biggest pet peeves and it takes near-inhumane restraint to avoid telling them they need to go back to elementary school and learn to spell. :icon_silent:
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
I reckon Eternal Green is probably right in a case like this. Think butchers being used as an abbreviation for a shop belonging to a butcher and the apostrophe is long lost.


More generally speaking,

Butchers, plural of butcher
Butcher's possessive, belonging to a butcher
Butchers' possessive plural, belonging to a number of butchers
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I reckon Eternal Green is probably right in a case like this. Think butchers being used as an abbreviation for a shop belonging to a butcher and the apostrophe is long lost.


More generally speaking,

Butchers, plural of butcher
Butcher's possessive, belonging to a butcher
Butchers' possessive plural, belonging to a number of butchers

That was the source of my consternation - the guild belongs to the butchers, and contains butchers.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
The other thing that always strikes me about questions like this is here we are being careful to use punctuation correctly and ninety nine percent of readers don't even know how to use commas.

"Apostrophes, what are they? Oh, like single speech marks? What do they do then?"
 

Cool Breeze

Senior Member
MC is an assassin and member of ... is it the Butcher's Guild, or the Butchers Guild?

The guild is owned by the Butchers, so that would be Butcher's Guild.

If there is more than one Butcher, i.e. they're a family, you would write Butchers' Guild. You can also write it Butchers's Guild, though most people these days omit the second s.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
The guild is owned by the Butchers, so that would be Butcher's Guild.

If there is more than one Butcher, i.e. they're a family, you would write Butchers' Guild. You can also write it Butchers's Guild, though most people these days omit the second s.

Disagree, it is, as has been pointed out, a guild of butchers, not a guild owned by butchers, and a guild must be more than one butcher, so even if you were using the possessive it would come at the end.
 
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epimetheus

Friends of WF
I see the same problem with nurses station. I've seen all 3 variations in practice (nurses, nurses' and nurse's), and could find justifications for all 3: it's a station containing nurses, it's a station owned collectively by the nurses (not literally, but in a territorial sense it certainly is the domain of the nurse), and it could be a station owned by the nurse in charge (stretching it a bit).

So i'd ask, is it a guild owned by a butcher or butchers or a guild of butchers?

If the purpose of grammar is to make things clearer then shouldn't all 3 should be acceptable depending on the context? Instead it seems people just ignore such subtlety (myself) or insist on a single variation, thereby constraining the possibility of nuance.
 
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