There is a sign at my work that says "Join the fight for Alzheimer's first survivor" and I am wondering about the use of "Alzheimer's" here. They are not reffering to a survivor of Alzheimer, they are referring to a survivor of Alzheimer's disease and using Alzheimer's as a short form of the disease. What would the possessive form of Alzheimer's be? I don't think it should be Alzheimer's's but i also don't think that it is correct as is. When searching for "double possessive" rules I can only find articles saying to avoid phrases like "St Paul's Cathedral's arches" is the only correct form to rearrange the syntax to be "Join the fight for the first survivor of Alzheimer's?"

  • totally agree, just could not find this. I'm fine with question being closed as duplicate
    – Sdarb
    Sep 19, 2018 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


Alzheimer's is correct. There is no double possessive in the English language. You can chain possessives (as in your example St Paul's Cathedral's arches). You can also shorten noun phrases (Alzheimer's disease routinely gets shortened to Alzheimer's).

  • I agree with your answer, but suggest you add a link (e.g Wikipedia)
    – S Conroy
    Sep 18, 2018 at 23:27
  • Misnomer or not, the double possessive does exist in English, exemplified in strings such as a friend of mine/John's. Jul 3, 2023 at 14:41

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