just wanted to let you know why your recent edits to Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones have been reverted: if you check out the wikipedia manual of style, the style here is to form the possessive of names ending in s by adding just an apostrophe, not apostrophe-s. it's not my preference either, but that's the way wikipedia does it. thanks Sssoul (talk) 19:47, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
- I believe, Sssoul, that your reading of the MOS is incorrect. What the manual says is that "Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be made to conform to a "correct" style. For instance St Thomas' Hospital, being the official designation, should not be rendered as St Thomas's Hospital."
- In other words, if St. Thomas insists on spelling his own name wrong, don't correct him. But if there is no official version of the possessive form - well, MOS doesn't say explicitly what to do, but I would say follow accepted style (Chicago Style Manual, or other respected MOS). Which is to say, add the 's, even if the name ends with a sibilant. --Ravpapa (talk) 06:51, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
- yep, sure enough - either the MOS has changed or i was misinformed back when i tried changing Richards' to Richards's and was promptly overruled. the consensus on the Stones' pages does seem to be to use a plain apostrophe in these cases, though. if you feel like seeking a new consensus on those talk pages, i'd happily support changing to Richards's, Watts's and Jones's. Sssoul (talk) 12:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
MySloop here. I checked the style guide, and it does say that the added "s" is correct, except for Biblical and classical names (Moses, Jesus, etc.; this Biblical exception, widely accepted everywhere, seems silly to me, but I'll just have to accept this nonsensical convention.) So if you guys don't mind I'd like to see my changes reverted back to my edits (Waits's, Richards's, Watts's, Jones's, Brahms's, and so on). If that can't happen I'll just go in and make the changes again. But seeing I'm new to Wikipedia as an editor, I'm not sure about protocol, that is, about the alleged need to start a new talk page. In lieu of that, I would simply point to common sense: it makes no sense to drop the apostrophe "s" for a singular word ending in "s" simply because of an aesthetic disagreement. It's funny how rules get developed, but the one rule that ought to override anything else is the plain understanding of the possessive case. If John possesses something and Charles possesses something, well, then an apostrophe "s" is needed in both cases to denote that John and Charles possess something. I should say though that I do understand the apostrophe-only rule for plurals (Stones', for example). Thoughts?
- I suggest you go ahead and revert your edits yourself. On the talk page, put a note with a link to this discussion. In the edit summary, write something like "per style guide, see talk page".
- Happy editing, and thanks for being both correct and polite about it. --Ravpapa (talk) 15:39, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
- yeah, thanks for being courteous about it. that bit in WP:MOS#Possessives where it states "there is tension" about the proper form of possessives of names ending in sibilants is pointing out that there are different schools of thought about it, and that neither is "more correct"; it's saying the decision is up to the consensus among editors of a given page. since the Stones articles have all had the apostrophe-only form for a while now, that form should be regarded as the current consensus among editors of those pages, and it *is* worthwhile to raise the question on the talk pages of those articles before changing it - at least to direct other editors to this discussion here - rather than simply reinstating your preference. in the WP:BRD cycle, that would be the "discuss" stage.
- the possessive form of plurals is a totally different question, with a clearcut correct answer. i don't think anyone's questioning that.
- and for what it's worth i agree with what (i think?) you're saying about the "Biblical convention" - left to my own devices, i write Moses's and Jesus's. but that's another ball of wax. Sssoul (talk) 16:04, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Great. Thanks for your thoughts. I'll go make my changes in due course and make note of the style guide. (Ravpapa, I just left a note on your talk page before I saw your comments here.)
- FYI, I have raised this issue on the talk page of the MOS here, and will update the MOS if there is no objection in the next few days. --Ravpapa (talk) 07:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
style guide continued
Mysloop, to respond to your question on the MOS talk page: i definitely would not recommend going around changing Jones' dog to Jones's dog on articles you've contributed nothing else to; and on articles you do contribute to, you might consider asking on the articles' talk pages first as an option to the WP:BRD approach. it's not wrong to use the BRD approach, but it can come across as confrontational. Sssoul (talk) 06:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)