poor mattgreen can't even have a pint in peace

October 11, 2005

i have just started reading eats shoots and leaves. it looks like it's going to be a very interesting book.

it has reminded me of a recent discussion i had with mattgreen in the pub one lunchtime. have a look at this picture:

i am really not happy with that apostrophe. i spent 29 years with a surname ending in 's' so i should know. but it's not as simple as that.

at first glance, i would expect it to be spelled banks'. if a man and his wife were called mr and mrs banks, would it be "the banks's dog" or "the banks' dog"? if they were mr and mrs bank, presumably it would be "the banks' dog" again? if you were talking about just mr bank, it would definitely be "mr bank's dog".

in some cases though, you definitely put the apostrophe after the word if it ends in 's'. for example: charles dickens' novels. the lions' den.

but banks' bitter just doesn't sound right. the bitter is owned by multiple banks. but then again, the den is owned by multiple lions, right?

gah! according to the apostrophe protection society, it would be banks's bitter if owned by mr banks, or bankses' bitter if owned by multiple mr banks.

i'm still not entirely happy. hmm.

No. I'm pretty sure it should be: Bankses's. :)
hi again! just surfed in from my rejuvenated website... glad to see you're still blogging... was off the blog scene for awhile and am looking forward to catching up...
god how bizarre, me and sbt were having that conversation yesterday! when he told me that it wouldn't be banks' which is what i would have thought it should be, but banks's or bankses.
i think.
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