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The Microsoft Word grammar check shows "Tipsy's" to be wrongly formed. I thought "Tipsy'" would do the job and it was shown as correct. However, it occurred to me that Tipsy does not end in a 'z' or 's' sound, so now I am confused.

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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, Kris, StoneyB, tchrist, Monica Cellio Oct 22 '12 at 13:04

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
why are you putting 's? –  Matt Эллен Oct 20 '12 at 17:42
    
Microsoft Word Grammar Checker isn't a grammarian and can't analyze what its programmer didn't include in the database. I find the MWGC useful because I understand most of its limits and strengths. It does pick up things that I sometimes overlook, but I never trust its judgments without carefully reading the "offending" content. Same is true for the spell check. If the word's not in the database, the spell checker says it's wrong, which may not be true. Tipsy is an adjective, but there's nothing wrong with writing Tipsy's an adjective that means "mildly intoxicated", not "stinko drunk". –  user21497 Oct 21 '12 at 5:59
    
@BillFranke: The question title specifically asks about the possessive, not the abbreviation for is. And there is something wrong with your example: Tipsy needs to be identified as the word rather than a name, either by italics or inverted commas. –  TimLymington Oct 21 '12 at 9:02
    
I didn't say that "Tipsy's" a possessive, just that there was nothing wrong with writing it (implied: because it means "tipsy is"). Formally, yes, it should be in italics or in "quotes", but in these wild and woolly linguistic days when nothing seems to matter, even to the editors of academic journals, the omission of the proper orthographics would probably go unnoticed: no grammar checker or spell checker would notice, and nobody pays copy-editors to check out such stuff. Tipsy's signs and symptoms are less obvious than drunk's signs and symptoms. Anything wrong with that? –  user21497 Oct 21 '12 at 14:12
    
@BillFranke: the same as any other 'wild and woolly linguistics': it's ambiguous. Not very, but enough to be worth putting in italics; they don't cost much. –  TimLymington Oct 21 '12 at 19:20
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are using Tipsy as a name, the possessive is Tipsy's. (If you're trying to make it some other kind of noun, it probably can't be done.) The grammar checker can't be expected to distinguish names from other words, so is telling you that you can't put 's on an adjective.

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ADD: tipsy is in other contexts an adjective meaning "mildly drunk" –  StoneyB Oct 20 '12 at 17:35
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