Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How does one write the possessive form of stock ticker symbols ending in "s"?

These are neither acronyms nor initialisms (/TLAs). For instance, does one write RAS' earnings, or RAS's earnings?

share|improve this question
2  
You write it exactly as you would say it. You can't possibly write RAS' earnings if you actually say RAS's earnings, and vice versa. –  RegDwigнt May 24 '13 at 23:17

2 Answers 2

Katherine Fry and Rowena Kirton's grammar book Grammar for Grown-Ups says

There can be a problem with names ending in 's', but write it as it's pronounced, so:

  • Morris's wallpaper,
  • Iris's house,
  • Dickens's book,
  • The Times's conservative leaning.

However, because this is a modern practice, and it was formerly customary to leave off that extra 's', classical and historical names still omit them on the whole. So:

  • Aeschylus' plays,
  • Oedipus' mother,
  • Moses' toes,
  • Jesus' sandals.

Thus, RegDwighт's comment is correct -- but just notice the classical and historical case. BTW, as a non-native speaker, I am not clear when the 's' should be pronounced. For example, I saw Jobs's (in Isaacson's book Steve Jobs) and I can feel it weird if I don't pronounce the possessive 's'; however, I also saw Jobses', which conflicted with my feeling. So, is there any rule formulating when the possessive 's' should be pronounce? Thanks for all comments.

share|improve this answer
    
I've found both Athens' and Athens's. Does this mean the city is now considered a modern one? –  Edwin Ashworth May 25 '13 at 7:07
    
@EdwinAshworth: I've no idea about this. But ... is it a joke? Punctuation wouldn't be supposed to bear so much significance. –  Stan May 25 '13 at 7:59
    
I remember reading about the s' to s's switch - I believe it was in Truss's Eats Shoots and Leaves. I began thinking about the point across the Atlantic at which one should switch from UK to US English –  Edwin Ashworth May 25 '13 at 21:30

Abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms, alphabetisms, and all short forms of the type should be treated as such, and not as grammatical "words" of the language.

The singular exception is those that are no longer capitalized (not even initial capital) and pronounced as words.

In the first instance, always append and apostrophe-s for the possessive: RAS's.

In the case of the exceptions, apply the rules of punctuation treating it as any other word.

Do you know ichthys' origin?

Acronymy has ancient roots, as illustrated by the early Christian use of the Greek word ichthys meaning 'fish' as an acronym for Iēsous Christos, Theou Huios, Sōtēr ('Jesus Christ, God's son, Savior'). (grammar.about.com)

share|improve this answer
    
The jargon grammatical words is a little incomprehensible for me. And it seems your definition is a little different from that in the wiki page. –  Stan May 25 '13 at 8:16
    
@Stan :) Most times, it's enough to understand a sentence in its plainest -- I merely meant 'words that are grammatical,' not a jargon phrase, certainly not what you have taken the trouble of looking up on WP! Notice the scare quotes there? –  Kris May 25 '13 at 12:40
    
Thanks for your explanation with patience. I get it now. (And once "again", wiki helps me understand the meaning of scare quotes :p) –  Stan May 25 '13 at 13:08

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.