Apostrophe

apostropheI ran into a problem when I was editing my novel. What do you do when you need the possessive of a person whose name ends in S? Two of my characters are in the beginning of a fight, Mandaro and Torres. The line that confused me is this:  Mandaro pushed Torres arm aside. Should it be:

Mandaro pushed Torres’ arm aside?

Or:

Mandaro pushed Torres’s arm aside?

Or

Mandaro pushed Torres’es arm aside?

The problem arises often—

Travis gun

Dickens novel

Or a plural possessive –

The classes homework

The Jones car

I like to say that the punctuation will be clear to you if you read your work out loud, but this situation wasn’t. Your opinion?

Images courtesy of:

blog.mainstreethost.com

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15 responses to “Apostrophe

  1. Either “Torres’ arm” or “Torres’s arm” is correct; it’s a matter of house style. The Chicago Manual of Style prefers the latter; the Associated Press style is the former. I suggest you pick one and stick with it. And don’t use “Torres’es arm.” It’s just wrong.

  2. Ed … Is it too late to change the surname of the ‘apostrophe-challenged’ Torres to something less ‘grammar-challenged’ ?? (My problem, of course, is that I always take the easy way out ………..)

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