Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blogging from #AtoZChallenge - Z's and Zohan

Last day. I thought I would fail to find a Z grammar tip. I was ready to just give you the horse of the day. But I actually found a good one.

How do you indicate possessive for names ending in Z? Is it Martinez' or Martinez's Same question for S. I'm curious to hear what you think because I don't like the answer!

The circle goes round and round, and it seems most grammar books and style guides have returned to recommending that the possessive form of Martinez is Martinez's. For Carlos it should be Carlos's. Regardless of whether pronouncing the possessive adds another syllable or not.

Carlos's face turned red.
Mr. Martinez's car bumper fell off in the middle of the road.

I guess I got left behind on this cycle. My MG sci-fi book has characters named Carlos and Brutus. I really hate the way Carlos's looks. I know I've been consistent, but I failed to find a formal supporting site allowing me to stick with Carlos'.

Yay for search and replace! What's your opinion on the final s after possessive S and Z names? Drop me a comment below and leave a link back to your blog and I'll be sure to visit and comment.

And now for the last horse of my A to Z Challenge. His name is Zohan. Yes, he was named after "You Don't Mess with the Zohan."

Zohan is an arab Quarter cross. A friend owned him, then left him at our barn when she and her husband moved to Las Vegas for a job. They were never able to afford boarding him in Vegas, so asked me to train and sell Zohan and two other horses.

I loved Zohan and would have bought him if I didn't already a ridiculous number. He could run forever and would have loved endurance. Another friend bought him, but she ended up with a rare breast cancer and had to give him back. A boarder at our barn was looking for a horse for her husband, and they were a great match. He's still a horse I'd love to own, but I'm glad he and his owner are happy together.


  1. My maiden name ended in Z so I hear ya. I think 's is appropriate. For a name ending in S I have read that you can put the apostrophe after the existing S but I've also seen the extra S. Carlos' or Carlos's. Carloses would mean multiple people named Carlos, so that for sure is wrong for possessive.

    Ah, English grammar :)

    So glad I found your blog for the A to Z challenge! My posts are about Memorable Characters.

    1. Glad to see you visit, we both spend time on the same writing craft blogs!

  2. actually i don't know. i would think that the the z would have the 's and carlos would have just '. we should ask grammarly girl. she would know.

    i've loved coming here and learning and relearning about grammar rules. and looking at the beautiful horses.

    1. Thanks! And congrats on finishing your cool story for A to Z!

  3. There's actually only one situation in which you would correctly add only an apostrophe (without the s), and that's when you have a plural noun and need to make it possessive. Like "Both diplomats' briefcases were searched by the guards."

    That said, you will frequently find constructions like "Carlos' car wouldn't start" in newspapers and such because it takes less space. But to write it correctly, it really should be Carlos's. Sorry.

    It's really fun when you get to a name like Jones:

    My neighbors, the Joneses, have too many animals. The Joneses' dogs are always getting into our yard, and even worse, I keep finding little Mary Jones's cat asleep in my car!

    Love this!

    1. Thank you for pounding the last nail in the coffin! Haha. I have already done the search and replace and am at least getting used to seeing it done correctly now.

  4. Congratulations! WE DID IT :)

    Thanks for stopping by at mine during the challenge xx