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What's the best way (for reader experience) to achieve the following? Let's say I am defining some kind of archetype, based on Eduardo Saverin (Facebook cofounder) ,and I call it an "Eduardo".

I want to repeatedly say:

  • Eduardos do xxy.
  • There are a lot of Eduardos in your company.
  • You'll encounter Eduardos every day.
  • Don't be an Eduardo.

"Eduardos" might be grammatically correct, but just is hard on the eyes. Eduardo's seems a little better but I think is grammatically incorrect.

I don't want a work-around, not right now. I am interested in opinions or experience with this kind of writing issue. It seems to be worse if the name ends in a vowel or if the name is uncommon. So if I used "Karen", then "Karens do xyz" is less awkward.

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  • 6
    Apostrophes are for possesives. If you use them for plurals, it makes you look like you shouldn't be writing.
    – JRE
    Apr 29, 2021 at 7:00
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    The best reader experience is to properly use the punctuation.
    – JRE
    Apr 29, 2021 at 7:00
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    From a reader's point of view: Don't monkey around with the apostrophes. They have a specific meaning, and your proposal pokes holes in it and makes me have to stop and wonder just what you were thinking. I have to ask myself "Is this another author who doesn't know the rules for apostrophes, or did this author actually mean something when misusing the punctuation?"#
    – JRE
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:53
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    "Eduardos" isn't a name, as far as I know. It is the plural of "Eduardo." "Eduardo's" means that something belongs to a particular Eduardo. End of the discussion.
    – JRE
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:54
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    Your suggestion is "grammatically" incorrect and awkward to any English reader.
    – JRE
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:55

3 Answers 3

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Courtesy of Lynn Miclea, Author

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  • Excellent way to state the obvious!
    – Lambie
    May 8, 2021 at 19:55
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The reason it sounds odd is that your mind recognizes 'Eduardo' as a proper name, which it knows ought to be singular. If we switch to a class name that ends in a vowel — e.g. 'dingo' or 'alpaca' — the plural seems perfectly normal ('dingos', 'alpacas'). It is a little smoother with names that end in consonants, like 'Kens', 'Alberts', 'Sarahs'... You might be a little more comfortable using the 'potato' strategy: i.e., use 'Eduardoes' (adding an 'es', not an 's').

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  • Thanks for the helpful analogy.Actually, I am writing about "Salieri" (the antagonist in the movie Amadeus) - as a archetype. Thus sometimes have to refer to him as a "person" (Salieri is jealous) ... and sometimes as an archetype (Salieris often are not malicious) .. and while grammatically correct, t seems awkward.
    – CJ Cornell
    May 3, 2021 at 14:37
  • @CJCornell: Have you considered following the Latinate formula, using Salierii? Not sure if that helps...
    – Ted Wrigley
    May 3, 2021 at 14:51
  • oh .. gee .. i think that is a little too erudite for my audience (who gets confused at "Eduardos" : )
    – CJ Cornell
    May 3, 2021 at 19:06
  • @CJCornell In an academic paper, there is no reason for pluralize Salieri when you can use the singular to refer to the type: A Salieri is not often malicious. OR: The Salieri is not often malicious.
    – Lambie
    May 8, 2021 at 19:43
  • @Lambie: That's good, thanks. May 8, 2021 at 19:53
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First of all, using a name to indicate an intentional stereotype often seems patronizing and unkind, and makes me suspect the validity of whatever the author has to say. It can work, but usually I think a different technique would be better But when I see it along with repeated mused of the greengrocer's apostrophe I simply dismiss the author as ignorant and not worth my time, and put the book or essay down, and probably never again read anything by the author. Don't do it!

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