- Dec 11, 1998
Isn't it a grammatical faux-pas to have an "'s" hanging off of a word ending with an "s"? I'm sorry .. it's just been bugging me. =)
If you would not pronounce the possessive "s" then do not add it. Examples: "Los Angeles' freeways." In truth, many invert such phrases to avoid sibilance ("the freeways of Los Angeles").
That's just a concession to those who are lazy or who "don't like the sound" of pronouncing the final "s". In fact you should pronounce the possessive of Los Angeles as "Los Angelessez", exactly as you pronounce the possessive of New York as "New Yorkz". That's the only way you make it clear that it is as possessive. In other words, the pronunciation "rule" is being used to justify the spelling mistake, when it is also a mistake.
The house that belongs to the Jones family is properly "the Jones's house", not "the Jones' house." Similarly more than one Jones would be referred to as "the Joneses", as in "keeping up with." If the rule is consistent with the plural there is no reason to make an exception for the possessive.
What makes the Bridget Jones thing stand out is that it is a rare example of someone getting it right. In America, especially, sloppy usage has become so common (notably among those who have influence and should know better, like teachers and broadcasters) that correct English looks and sounds odd to us.