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This BBC report (link) suggests that we should use "Dickens' Great Expectations", but I remember there is a rule from Strunk and White (here) that would suggest "Dickens's Great Expectations".

Is this just a difference due to British English vs American English?

BBC's report:

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's grammatical error appeared on an advert for a performance of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations in July.

Strunk and White

Form the possessive singular of nouns with 's.

Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write,

Charles's friend 
Burns's poems
the witch's malice   

This is the usage of the United States Government Printing Office and of the Oxford University Press. Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in -es and -is, the possessive Jesus', and such forms as for conscience' sake, for righteousness' sake. ...

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Edwin Ashworth, Drew, marcellothearcane, k1eran Aug 12 '17 at 12:29

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  • 3
    This is a matter of style; there is no single right or wrong answer, and it is not dependent primarily on locale. AP style, American, dictates Dickens'. APA style, also American, dictates Dickens's. And CMOS, again American, prefers DIckens's but has no objection to Dickens'. Of related interest: When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑s”? and Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe? among others. – choster Aug 11 '17 at 20:45
  • There are no grammar rules governing punctuation, only house rules. – StoneyB Aug 11 '17 at 20:55
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    If you really want to be confused consider the spelling and pronunciation of The Court of Saint James's, a double layer possessive with the possessive s of the second layer possessive pronounced in contravention of the 'rule' that possessive esses attached to words ending in s are silent. As it's the name of a royal court it must be part of the Queen's English but... – BoldBen Aug 13 '17 at 4:23

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