Individual Entry

Wes's or Wes'

As most of you have probably noticed, my name end with and “s”. Since elementary school it has bothered me to write or pronounce the possessive form of the name of Jesus, because I never felt fully confident I was doing it right.

Jesus' or Jesus's? Wes' or Wes's? Let's call the whole thing off...

I figured out why I am so confused (which is also one of my new favorite phrases). There is no clear right or wrong way.

The MLA (section 3.2.7d) and APA manuals prescribe using an apostrophe “s” on all proper names, even those that end in “s”. The MLA example is, Venus's.

The Associated Press (AP) and Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary prescribes an apostrophe with no “s” if the proper noun ends in “s”. So when you read the newspapers, you will read something like, “Venus' tennis championship trophy.”

As the title of my blog implies, I usually use apostrophe “s”. I find it awkward trying to pronounce it otherwise.

If anyone knows of a better rule of thumb, please chime in.


I guess pronunciation should guide the punctuation/spelling. I would use the apostrophe because it is more sonsistent with speech. Sounds funny & incorrect to say, “There is Wes' house?”

Ebonics rules apply differently. That would be s'... You do the math.

by: Jeff - Sep 30, 2005 - 08:10

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