As a writing teacher, I have an interest in correct grammar. I know from first-hand experience that having to read someone who doesn’t have a clue about grammar can be massively distracting from the message you are trying to convey.
One of the biggest questions I ever had growing up was, how do I, personally, deal with the apostrophe-s situation? I have a particular concern about this issue, because it directly affects me.
To review, the rules for apostrophe-s are basically as follows (I’m sure someone will nail me if I have misstated these rules):
Add an apostrophe and s to show possession for all words not ending in s.
ex. Jason’s, team’s, child’s
Add just an apostrophe to words ending in s.
ex. cars’, bakers’, fields’
Makes sense, correct? However, there is considerable debate regarding one issue in particular. What is the proper style in the event that you are trying to show possession for a subject that is a proper name but has an S at the end of the name? As someone with the surname Liegois, this is pretty relevant to me.
I recently came across these three articles on the subject. The general consensus is… there is no general consensus as to whether I should write, for example, Liegois’s car or Liegois’ car. Different stylebooks and grammatical techniques have it one or the other way.
Well, I believe I have decided for myself that Liegois’ will be the way I use it from this day forward. The tiebreaker for me is that the Associated Press Stylebook comes down squarely on the side of using just the apostrophe. As you might remember, I used to be a journalist, and we always kept one of those spiral-bound copies of the AP Stylebook on our desk to settle any uncertainties of language. So, Liegois’ it is.