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When did it become correct to add an 's' to a singular possessive already ending in 's'?

I learned from school to use Dawkins', for example

That is Mr. Dawkins' house.

But I see many people write Dawkins's instead. Is it something related to American English as opposed to British conventions?

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marked as duplicate by ShreevatsaR, RegDwigнt, Kosmonaut Jan 3 '11 at 13:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Surely this is a duplicate of several questions on this site already... –  ShreevatsaR Jan 3 '11 at 8:14
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@ShreevatsaR, it does seem familiar. How would one search for this sort of thing? –  Brian Hooper Jan 3 '11 at 9:15
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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Both forms are valid, depending on the style guide you follow. It does not appear to be a regional thing. Wikipedia has an overview.

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