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We have a choir in the town of Ako called Ako International Students Choir. The choir is directed in English and is indeed international, but by no means limited to International Students.

I am confused to where the possessive should lay in the name. Should it be:

Ako's International Students Choir

Or

Ako International Students' Choir

I want the emphasis to be Ako International Students Choir, more than Ako International Students Choir or even Ako International Students Choir.

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    I think that question is a bit different. There is no question that in my problem Students is plural. Aug 20, 2013 at 16:35
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    Have you considered "Ako International Choir for Students"? I don't think you can make your emphasis clear just by where the possessive goes: you need to change the word order.
    – TrevorD
    Aug 20, 2013 at 16:40
  • Not being the head of the choir, I cannot really change the name so much. Changing an apostrophe is not a big deal, so I think I can talk the leader into changing that; changing the whole name might mean a whole rebranding (business cards, logo, fliers…) Aug 20, 2013 at 17:10
  • I think the answer at Which expression is older: "London Royal Parks" or "London's Royal Parks" ? And why is it Hyde Park and not Hyde's Park? addresses this question (and the answer is no apostrophes at all).
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:22
  • I agree with @AndrewLeach that you need no apostrophes at all, but, as I said before, I don't think leaving them out or putting any in will change the emphasis as you would like to. Is the choir limited to students? If not, omit 'Students' entirely - but that's still an actual name change! Can't help further I'm afraid.
    – TrevorD
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:29

2 Answers 2

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Both forms are allowed. Grammatically they work differently: The first uses the genitive to indicate that the choir belongs to, or is related to, Ako. The second uses the noun Ako as a modifier to modify the rest to indicate that it has something to do with Ako. In other words they're two different ways of arriving at the same meaning.

I'd favour the latter solely because the genitive seems to be becoming less popular in names of organisations, so the latter would be the more fashionable approach.

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  • Thanks for the answer. I'd also go for the latter as far as the city is concerned, though my question is specifically to make sure that it is understood that the choir is not an “ International Students choir ”, but rather an “ International Students choir ”. Sep 12, 2013 at 21:18
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It depends on what the title of the choir is. If the International Students Choir is an organization within Ako, which it sounds like it is, then you should go with the first one. You should use the second one if you want the choir to sound like an organization within Ako International Students.

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  • The question and comments to the question make it quite clear that it is a student choir with an international twist organised in Ako. Aug 22, 2013 at 5:44

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