Talk:Romeyn B. Ayres

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Use of apostrophes in ownership by Hal Jespersen[edit]


I see you have edited the text to add an extra s after Ayres', Sykes', McLaws' & Rodes' in my new text. Although the style guide allows this for people whose dialect pronounces such as "Ayres's", it does not make it compulsory.

So if an article is consistent for each name there is no need to change it.

Do you actually pronounce two "s"s for all names ending with s?

You have referenced a Chicago style guide in another article. Is this a common form of speach in Chigago?

Graeme Cook (talk) 08:23, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

The article already used this method of possessives, so I was merely making you addition consistent with it. The MOS lists three variants on this rule, the Chicago Manual of Style lists two; in both cases I have selected the first variant. The Chicago Manual is the premier style guide for formal writing (books, dissertations, scholarly journals, etc.) in the United States, and I have long used it as the basis for a number of punctuation and grammar decisions in my own guidelines, User:Hlj/CWediting. Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:07, 4 September 2010 (UTC)


Would you point out where this article already used this method (s's) of possessives?

The style guide allows s's for those who pronounce s's. Do you actually pronounce two "s"s for all these names ending with s?

Graeme Cook (talk) 07:24, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I checked the version of August 28, 2006, when I did a refresh of a number of articles, and the single instance of a possessive said "Ayres's". As with the McLaws article, I am the original author. I cannot guarantee that of the 300+ articles I have written that I have not made an error in style guide consistency since then, or missed it when some other editor made an uncoordinated change, but I know I can tell you exactly what my intent is, which I have documented in User:Hlj/CWediting. (It is sometimes very difficult to notice such subtle changes in the revision lists, particularly when the articles are always churning around with changes to categories and other insubstantial edits.) And although we are discussing written English here, not spoken, I pronounce it "airs-ez." If I said "airs" the listener would not be able to tell if the man's name was Ayres or Ayre. Hal Jespersen (talk) 00:18, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


Sentences using a possesive seem to have been removed at some stage since then.

The style guide refers to consistency for each name not that all names in an article use the same possesive.

I note you haven't gone for Gaines's Mill in articles.

This last is a poor argument. There are many homonymes and homophones in English that cause problems. These do not have to be cured.

Graeme Cook (talk) 08:11, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

My preference is for consistency, rather than inconsistency unless there are "problems." I have not attempted to modify Gaines' Mill because that is the punctuation the National Park Service uses. Their work precedes mine and they get to choose the style for their name. Hal Jespersen (talk) 16:14, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


That one piece of work proceeds another has no value on deciding a style used in Wikipedia. If at sometime in the past one style was used then this text was removed, it has no bearing on the style that should be used in new text, provided that, for that name, the style is consistent in the article as it stands at that time.

Do you think that all names ending in 's' in an article should use the same style or that the style for each name should be consistent?

Graeme Cook (talk) 07:51, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The manual of style disagrees with your first sentence, as I have cited elsewhere. The answer to your question is "both." Hal Jespersen (talk) 18:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)