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If the cricket ground Lord's is a possessive, what if you want to describe something belonging to Lord's? Would you say:

I was very impressed by Lord's's customer services.

It doesn't look right, so what is the correct way of writing it?

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  • Why are you Asking there here, instead of at English Language Learners? As a native speaker, you would have been taught about the use of apostrophes at about eight years of age… Aug 22 at 20:32
  • @RobbieGoodwin lol, what a really useless and unfriendly comment; on a question with 33 upvotes and six fav's - suggesting it was asked in the correct place. Aug 23 at 4:39
  • I'm sorry and only so much latitude is due or reasonable. In ELL, any number of upvotes might be warranted. Here, the Question remains out of place, which is prolly why from 3,000 views over so many years, it's clocked up four Answers… RegDwight restated the obvious… J D OConal went so far above the level of the Question as to make their linkage almost invisible… delete (really? Delete?) tried to kick it into the long grass with the suggestion Lord's itself might be a useful referee… I was just more blunt. It remains true that ELL should provide more, and more useful help. Aug 23 at 22:57
  • @RobbieGoodwin apology accepted. Sep 13 at 4:23
17

I think you kind of answer your own question. If "Lord's" already is a possessive, then there's no need to turn it into a possessive even further. I would just say "Lord's customer services", much like I would say "McDonald's burgers" and "Ben & Jerry's ad slogan" and not "McDonald's's burgers" and "Ben & Jerry's's ad slogan".

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  • 13
    I wouldn't interpret "McDonald's burgers" as possessive, since they are not the burgers of someone named McDonald. While "McDonald's burgers" is fine, I'd think "McDonald's" is being used there as an adjective, parallel to "Burger King burgers" and not to "Burger King's burgers". Sep 13 '10 at 7:11
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    @ShreevatsaR: I agree, and that had crossed my mind before I posted my answer. I had pondered on a few contexts, including "Burger King's customer service is better than McDonald's customer service", where "Burger King's" is a possessive, but "McDonald's" is an adjective. But then I decided that a) it's still perfectly clear to everyone what that sentence means, b) it's more succinct than "Burger King's customer service is better than the customer service provided by McDonald's", and c) it surely beats writing "Burger King's customer service is better than McDonald's's customer service".
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 13 '10 at 14:03
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    I agree it's clear to everyone, and sounds succint… but it looks odd, especially when written. It's clear what it means, but it doesn't seem like a possessive. I think the right interpretation is that a possessive is not necessary and can be avoided (we can just use the adjective "McDonald's"), rather than that "McDonald's" is the possessive of "McDonald's". Sep 14 '10 at 6:18
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    @RegDwighт: If "Burger King's vs. McDonald's" is the clearest way of writing it, who cares whether it conforms to various "rules"? The most important rule of good writing in most contexts is to write understandably, all other rules notwithstanding.
    – supercat
    Oct 23 '12 at 5:49
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    This doesn't seem to actually answer the question. It's more of a workaround. Jun 19 '15 at 17:33
10

If you really need the genitive case (possessive), you could say: 'I was very impressed by the customer service of Lord's' or '. . . by the Lord's cricket ground's customer service'. You could also consider Lord's as an adjective describing customer service, which would make it '. . . by Lord's customer service'.

3

I suppose if one is very concerned, one could contact them for advice on the matter. I looked at their web site and found that they use the following kinds of forms:

the Lord's Shop provides everything from unique Lord's souvenirs to cricket bats and equipment, ...

.. visit the Lord's Tavern Bar & Brasserie, ...

So it seems RegDwight's answer is correct.

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    I'm not sure those examples are possessive: they can easily (and IMHO more naturally) be interpreted as using "Lord's" as an adjective (or whatever it's called), parallel to "the MCC shop" or "unique MCC souvenirs" or "visit the MCC Tavern Bar & Brasserie" (instead of "MCC's"). Sep 13 '10 at 7:08
-2

This is axiomatic nonsense.

No word nor phrase in English can ever need nor may ever use more than one apostrophe.

"… Lord's's (anything)" will always be wrong.

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  • Uh… thanks, commentator. Would you like rather explain that, take it back or both? Jun 5 at 3:31

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