Creating some copy and want to make sure singular possessive name is correct...

If I have a name of an animal, Jaws, would correct grammar be, Jaws' Laws?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, RegDwigнt Jan 21 '15 at 20:20

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In your example, I would consider Jaws as a name, not as a plural noun jaws, which would indeed take just an apostrophe.

When I was at school (in England over 50 years ago), we were taught that a name ending with s takes 's for the possessive, giving Jaws's laws.

The rules or acceptable usage may have relaxed since then - one large example on the side of a building in London reads St Thomas' Hospital.

  • 1
    Ya, realized my explanation was a bit off...a person's nickname ending in "s" showing ownership is what I meant. In other words, if Jaws had a set of rules/laws he lived by, it would be "Jaws's Laws", from what I'm understanding? – frshjb373 Jan 21 '15 at 17:21
  • But how standard was the teaching you received? And are you absolutely sure that was 'names ending in s' and not 'nouns [implied common] ending in s'? In any case, you might like to check tchrist's well received answer to the question when asked here before. He explains what is today considered acceptable by many. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 21 '15 at 19:52
  • @EdwinAshworth: Thank you for the pointer to the previous similar question. Fortunately, my answer here does indeed agree with the main part of tchrist's. My English teaching was standard and traditional, and in most cases I still prefer to stick with the old usage. I have, however, learned from this forum that there are often many other strong opinions about what is acceptable nowadays, which is why I included the alternative (and often criticized) example. – DavidR Jan 22 '15 at 11:03
  • One undisputed rule is that organisations, councils etc can specify the style they require. All three of St James Park, St James' Park, and St James's Park exist at separate UK locations. And may have remained unchanged for over a century. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 22 '15 at 15:44

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