Am I overthinking this? — The Bump
Baby Names

Am I overthinking this?

Our top contender for a boy name is Miles right now.

I happen to have a pet peeve about people taking a name that ends in s and ending it with an apostrophe in possessive form. In other words, I hate when someone writes or says "Miles' name is cute" and I think it should be "Miles's name is cute."

I just started to wonder if this would bug me for the rest of my life. I asked DH and he was like "huh? okay... I don't know." 

How do you write it and am I crazy? lol 

Re: Am I overthinking this?

  • But technically "Miles' name is cute" is grammatically correct.   So likely people will use that version the most (especially if he becomes a scholar when he grows up).

     So if that really really bothers you...you might want to rethink the name?

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  • Miles' name is cute is the correct way. I guess it depends how much it will bother you.

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  • ibisibis member

    That's not true. Both are technically correct. Some 'experts' express an opinion (Strunk says you always add the 's) but most agree it's a matter of choice.

    But maybe this answers my question... if there are always going to be people who insist my preference is grammatically incorrect! 

  • Your way is right.  (Sorry, PPs.)  You only use the apostrophe without the following s with plurals (the four dogs' collars; all our kids' toys) or with names from antiquity (Socrates' toga; Moses' teachings).  Names like Charles and Miles are made possessive in the same way as names like William and Michael -- with an apostrophe-S (Miles's hat, William's ball, etc.). 

    The idea that it's correct to use the apostrophe without the following s except in the two situations I mention above is a very recent innovation, born--from what I can tell--of sheer laziness.  People think this is correct because lots of people do it and it got to be too much of a hassle to teach it differently, not because any rule actually changed.

    [ETA- Cross posted with you -- Glad you also adhere to the Bible (aka Strunk & White). Also, congrats on your SAL!]
  • ibisibis member

    image rosenjoe:


    The idea that it's correct to use the apostrophe without the following s except in the two situations I mention above is a very recent innovation, born--from what I can tell--of sheer laziness.  People think this is correct because lots of people do it and it got to be too much of a hassle to teach it differently, not because any rule actually changed.

    I see you have Elias on your list... would this deter you from the name or am I just being too fussy then?  

  • It wouldn't deter me; I love the name, and there are always going to be people who get things like this wrong.  I would irritate me, though.  I don't think you're necessarily being too fussy.  Your child's name is something you live with for the rest of your life; you need to be 100% happy with it.  This is a drawback that you'll have to weigh against  your love for the name.  If it will bother you to an extent that it lessens your enjoyment of the name, or if there is another name that you like just as much that doesn't have this problem, then I'd change it.  If it's something you can overlook (or correct, as the situation warrants), or if you truly love this name more than any other, then stick to your guns.
  • I'm not sure I see what the issues is unless it's just a pet peeve.  I like the name Myers (as it's a family name) and plan to use it somehow.  Never even thought of what you've said and don't think it's a big deal.
  • dpdwdpdw
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    image rosenjoe:
    Your way is right.  (Sorry, PPs.)  You only use the apostrophe without the following s with plurals (the four dogs' collars; all our kids' toys) or with names from antiquity (Socrates' toga; Moses' teachings).  Names like Charles and Miles are made possessive in the same way as names like William and Michael -- with an apostrophe-S (Miles's hat, William's ball, etc.). 

    Thank you for explaining this!  I remember being taught in my Catholic grammar school that the possessive form of Jesus is without the following s, but I didn't remember that it only applied to names from antiquity until you mentioned it, so I've always left off the following s when the name ends in s.  I bet a lot of people forget the nuance to that rule -- and it's not necessarily laziness.

  • I'm the opposite...LOL. I know they are both correct, but the 's bugs me. Obviously it didn't deter me from naming my son Miles (or Jonas, for that matter).
  • image rosenjoe:
    Your way is right.  (Sorry, PPs.)  You only use the apostrophe without the following s with plurals (the four dogs' collars; all our kids' toys) or with names from antiquity (Socrates' toga; Moses' teachings).  Names like Charles and Miles are made possessive in the same way as names like William and Michael -- with an apostrophe-S (Miles's hat, William's ball, etc.). 

    The idea that it's correct to use the apostrophe without the following s except in the two situations I mention above is a very recent innovation, born--from what I can tell--of sheer laziness.  People think this is correct because lots of people do it and it got to be too much of a hassle to teach it differently, not because any rule actually changed.

    [ETA- Cross posted with you -- Glad you also adhere to the Bible (aka Strunk & White). Also, congrats on your SAL!]

    This, exactly. It drives me crazy when people just add an apostrophe to the end of something and leave off the "s" just because the word ends in S. You could fail a paper for doing that in Journalism school. It wouldn't stop me from naming my child a name that ends in S, but I'm completely there with you.

    I think someone taught this lazy grammar to our parents' generation, because I still hear some elementary teachers teaching it incorrectly. I notice it more at Christmas when people send out photo cards and label their family photos incorrectly. If your last name is Harper, you are The Harpers (the plural form, not the possessive form The Harper's) and the same goes if your last name ends in S, you just make the name plural.

    I'm amazed at how many people actually thought if a name ends in "s" it is already possessive.

  • This has turned into a very interesting post. I too find it annoying when people make simple grammatical errors, particularly on invitations and such that are sent out. However, I would not let it deter me from using a name that I love. Miles is a darling name. And I doubt very much that people are going to be writing his name in the possessive form very often. I just don't think it is an issue.
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  • I think it's kind of a silly reason not to name your child a name you love.

    First of all, I highly doubt this will be a daily, weekly, or even a monthly issue- how often is someone going to write about him? When someone does, it will typically be you, so you can control the 's issue.

    Second of all, I, myself, am ridiculously OCD, and when I have a pet peeve it always seems 100 times worse when I'm hormonal. I'm not trying to write your concern off or anything, I'm just saying that maybe in several months when you've had your baby, it won't seem like such a big deal and you'll either be glad you went with Miles or sorry you didn't, based on whatever you choose.

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  • This post is funny.  My name is Chris and DS is Davis so I see the apostrophe all the time and it bothers me so much.  I asked a friend of mine who is an editor and she said that both are actually considered correct but I absolutely think it should be Chris's and Davis's.  I still don't understand how Davis' could be correct.  We're considering Tess if we have a girl and I know it'll be the same issue again. 

    Don't avoid the name.  It's a great name but feel free to correct people.  My MIL writes Davis' but I don't have the guts to correct her -- and if my friend is right and it's a matter of preference, I'll bite my tongue.

  • I do think you are overthinking a bit. I understand you concern because grammer has become atrocious. That being said, Miles is a wonderful name and I think you should go for it!
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  • ibisibis member
    Ok, thanks for the reassurance! This thought just occurred to me the other day and started making me a little crazy. Of course, we don't even know if it's a boy or girl yet so I am getting way ahead of myself here...
  • The real problem is that people are idiot's and are going to write Mile's, even when it isn't posessive.  Don't you know that a word can't end in "s" if there is no apostrophe?  (ye's, I know I put on in idiot's)
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  • MrsCFBMrsCFB
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    image rosenjoe:
    Your way is right.  (Sorry, PPs.)  You only use the apostrophe without the following s with plurals (the four dogs' collars; all our kids' toys) or with names from antiquity (Socrates' toga; Moses' teachings).  Names like Charles and Miles are made possessive in the same way as names like William and Michael -- with an apostrophe-S (Miles's hat, William's ball, etc.). 

    The idea that it's correct to use the apostrophe without the following s except in the two situations I mention above is a very recent innovation, born--from what I can tell--of sheer laziness.  People think this is correct because lots of people do it and it got to be too much of a hassle to teach it differently, not because any rule actually changed.

    [ETA- Cross posted with you -- Glad you also adhere to the Bible (aka Strunk & White). Also, congrats on your SAL!]

    exactly right.  i, admittedly, did not learn this until law school in my legal research and writing class!

    ibis, i think you should name your child miles if that's the name you like best - don't let the miles's/miles' issue deter you, LOL! 

  • Honestly, I married into a last name that is a plural noun (ends in s) and it drives me CRAZY.  I wouldn't do it if I had the choice.  However, who knows, you could get use to it...I haven't, but you might!  Wink
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  • image CindyJBoyd:

    But technically "Miles' name is cute" is grammatically correct.   So likely people will use that version the most (especially if he becomes a scholar when he grows up).

     So if that really really bothers you...you might want to rethink the name?

    This exactly

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  • ibisibis member
    image kate1011:
    image CindyJBoyd:

    But technically "Miles' name is cute" is grammatically correct.   So likely people will use that version the most (especially if he becomes a scholar when he grows up).

     So if that really really bothers you...you might want to rethink the name?

    This exactly

    LOL... did you read the rest of the thread and see that that is incorrect?

    My lord, this really might drive me nuts. Maybe I should pray for a girl. Wink 

  • image ibis:
    image kate1011:
    image CindyJBoyd:

    But technically "Miles' name is cute" is grammatically correct.   So likely people will use that version the most (especially if he becomes a scholar when he grows up).

     So if that really really bothers you...you might want to rethink the name?

    This exactly

    LOL... did you read the rest of the thread and see that that is incorrect?

    My lord, this really might drive me nuts. Maybe I should pray for a girl. Wink 

    No...either is still considered correct. One may be more "proper", but both ARE correct.

    If a singular proper noun (a name) ends in s, Chicago and AP handle apostrophe's differently.

    In AP style, if a proper noun ends in s or an s sound, add an apostrophe only.

    1. Chris' exam scores were higher than any other students.

    In Chicago style, if a proper nouns ends in s add 's.

    1. Last year Kansas?s legislature passed a law.
    from this site

     

    I'm not being nasty...just trying to ease your mind about it : )


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