Date: Wed Jan 26 2000 - 06:11:57 PST
In a message dated 1/25/2000 6:15:04 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>What's wrong with "Gates'"?
and Baisley wrote:
>ThomStew oughta know, being a publisher type.
Thos, Wayne, as in Thos. Jefferson. (There's a ThomStew@aol.com who, poor
man, patiently forwards misdirected mail to me. It really pained him once
when the mail he forwarded was the confirmation of a reservation at a hotel
in Barcelona.) And being a publisher type, I didn't get to the office till
after 9, but, yes, I know:
In English, to make the plural of a noun ending in "s" one adds "-es" ; and
to make the possessive, one add's 's, so it's the Gateses, not the Gates, and
Gates's, not Gates' (the exception being, by convention, certain classical
names such as Mars and Ceres, thus Mars's wrath and Ceres' fecundity, which
the Gates might aspire to, but not attain till Gates's fortune is even
grander than it might be. Presumably Gate's fortune is already grand enough
that the Gateses house has a fence that has at least two gates.
(The consequence of failing to follow these simple rules: Signs in front of
houses announcing that the abode is, e.g., "The Stewart's" [Since I am,
indeed, THE Stewart, it would be accurate in my case, but not in the case of
all those pretenders.])
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