Apostrophe Ambiguity

My Veterans Day post concerning to apostrophe or not to apostrophe garnered at least as many hits via search engines as any other single post I’ve written. Seems that we are an apostrophe-challenged society, but I’m heartened to see how many people are searching for correct usage.

So now as I write notices to close libraries on Presidents/Presidents’/President’s Day, I am moved to write another apostrophe post. So I went to Wikipedia, and found that all 3 have instances of correct usage:

President’s Day — when speaking of only one president

Presidents’ Day — when recognizing multiple presidents

Presidents Day — favored by the Associated Press Stylebook, which is followed by journalists and public relations folks

So, in case you’re wondering, I settled on Presidents Day. Have a good one, if you’re lucky enough to get it off. And, in keeping with U.S. Senate tradition since 1862, read George Washington’s Farewell Address.

Washington’s Farewell Address, from The Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia:
Handwritten Facsimile

2 thoughts on “Apostrophe Ambiguity”

  1. Apostrophie’s confuse me.

    But I love those Presidentses.

    I suspect that the same rules apply for Valentines Day.

    I also suspect the wife would take exception to the celebration of a Valentines’ Day.

  2. The holiday, initially honoring Washington & Lincoln, now thought to honor all Presidents, should be Presidents’ Day. Of course, AP and other journalists use slightly different rules because of their concern for space.

    Valentine’s Day, honoring one Saint, is a singular possessive and should be Valentine’s Day.

    I am similarly delighted that people are so interested in being correct.

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