Seduced by an apostrophe
A print version of this blog about plurals of proper nouns ran in the paper Monday.
By the end of the day, I had at least a half-dozen emails saying the example below isn’t wrong because it’s a possessive.
Well, it’s wrong.
The problem is that even if the intention is to show possession, the surname must first be properly pluralized, and it is not.
If the house were owned by one person named Hardy, you could correctly call it “Hardy’s SeaDuction,” but you wouldn’t call it “the Hardy’s SeaDuction.”
The “the” indicates that more than one person named Hardy owns the SeaDuction. In that case, you’d first make the surname plural by adding “s”—the Hardys (not the Hardies or the Hardy’s). Then you’d add the apostrophe to show possession: “the Hardys’ SeaDuction.”
Many very smart, educated people have trouble with forming plurals and possessives of proper nouns. Here’s an earlier post I wrote about pluralizing names, and here’s one specifically about the name Melchers.