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I received an invitation to a meal, with the following sentence:

Partners Welcome - Menu’s to Follow

The message the author was trying to get across is "the menu(s) will be announced at a later time".

Should "Menu's" have an apostrophe in this example?

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, tchrist, choster, Mitch Sep 24 '15 at 11:56

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    If the author specifically wanted to convey that it was still undecided whether there would be one or more menus, he should have written Menu(s) to follow. (Unless it was the Greengrocer's Annual Convention, of course! :) – FumbleFingers Aug 28 '15 at 15:11
  • No it should not. Since menu is so rooted in English language nowadays. – Konrad Gajewski Aug 29 '15 at 4:35
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The plural of menu is menus. Using an apostrophe denotes ownership and this did not seem to be the context. As an example:

I have three menus to choose from.

vs.

The menu's typeface is very difficult to read.

So if it's not a question of not knowing how many menus, but just whether the apostrophe is correct, my answer would be that the use of the apostrophe in your example was incorrect and should have been menus (or menu, or as the other answer said, menu(s) ).

  • Hello, Deborah. As Reg Dwight has said, '[W]e write stuff in comments that is too obvious to qualify for an answer [on ELU]. [This] is not really a topic for a site for linguists and etymologists, and we don't want it to become a topic.' – – Edwin Ashworth Aug 28 '15 at 16:04
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    @EdwinAshworth shouldn't that be directed at the OP – Yeshe Aug 28 '15 at 17:09
  • @Yeshe I'd have chosen 'qualify as an answer' myself, but how can an OP ask a question in a comment? There needs to be a question before a comment can be made. The question is not suitable for ELU (and I have accordingly close-voted), but to echo Martha: 'If you post an answer or vote up an existing answer [to an unsuitable question], you're implicitly encouraging more questions like it.’ – Edwin Ashworth Aug 28 '15 at 21:30
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Some time ago it was commonplace and accepted practice to use a apostrophe for plurals of foreign nouns which ended in a vowel (Romance languages in particular have a higher incidence of final vowels than English).

There's a longish account of apostrophe use in Wikipedia , which mentions this:

Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, points out that before the 19th century, it was standard orthography to use the apostrophe to form a plural of a foreign-sounding word that ended in a vowel (e. g., banana’s, folio’s, logo’s, quarto’s, pasta’s, ouzo’s) to clarify pronunciation. Truss says this usage is no longer considered proper in formal writing.

Since menu is French in origin, it does fit into the above category.

  • Your answer is far more than the original question (very basic) merits. But useful to have (I've read Truss and forgotten this). It's fascinating how language changes. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 28 '15 at 23:48
  • It's fascinating how language changes .It is. I didn't know that the possessive of "it" was originally "it’s", and many people continue to write it this way, though the apostrophe was dropped in the early 1800s until I read it in the Wikipedia article above. – Margana Aug 28 '15 at 23:57
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Absolutely not.

Here, "menu's" is meant to be plural, as in "the menus will follow." However, if you remove the apostrophe and replace it with "is" (as the possessive form demands) it reads as "the menu is will follow," which is obviously not correct.

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