Sunday, February 17, 2013
Happy Presidents Day or Happy Presidents' Day!
Happy Presidents' Day. Or is that Presidents Day? Or Presidents' Day?
Well....it depends on which expert you ask! Here is the run down:
1. It is NOT President's Day
a. President's denotes one President...and this holiday honors Washington and Lincoln both...as well as all presidents
b. President's Day says that it is the day that belongs to one President (singular)
c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (President) then if the word does NOT end in s, put apostrophe s (President's Day)
2. Some say it is Presidents' Day
a. The Gregg Reference Manual (my favorite handbook) cites it as such
b. This denotes many presidents all owning one day (or at least Lincoln and Washington)
c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (Presidents) then if the word ends in s, put an apostrophe on the outside of the s
d. This is the correct way to show possession of one thing to more than one "owner"---or any noun that ends in an s (glass' smudges).
3. Some say it is Presidents Day
a. The Associated Press Stylebook cites is as such
b. This method does not denote possession, but rather uses the word President as an adjective (actually a "proper adjective" in that it is an adjective made from a proper noun--some of the time--we will not even get into whether it is (President) or isn't (president) in this post!)
c. This is like saying that, that is a Grisham book (as opposed to a book that Grisham owns--Grisham's book), and it is certainly not incorrect
P.S. Capitalize president when referring to a certain president or the holiday in question!
So there you have it! More subjectivity in our English language. Happy Presidents' Day! And Happy Presidents Day!