what is the possessive of a word ending in z

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Do I use an 's for a word ending in z? (Kobitz's or Kobitz')

asked Jun 19 '12 at 16:05 Cathy Wallace New member

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The punctuation of possessives is somewhat controversial, at least in American English.  This forum has a longer discussion of the issues filed under FEATURED: WRITING TIPS & TRICKS above.

 

Various style guides provide different advise regarding possessives of words ending in "s" or "ess" sounds. Starting in the 1920s, some guides began to call for punctuation that followed pronunciation. For words where the "ess" is pronounced, add only the apostrophe -- Kansas'. If the "s" is silent, add apostrophe + "s" -- Arkansas's. Some guides still make this distinction.

 

Other guides sought a more consistent approach. They call for adding only the apostrophe regardless of the pronounciation of the final s, x, or z.

 

In the 2010 edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the editors reversed course. Now Chicago calls for always adding the apostrophre + "s" regardless of spelling or pronounciation.

 

How you handle it depends upon what your instructor requires (or what style manual you have been asked to follow).

link comment edited Jun 19 '12 at 22:07 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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