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Pedants' corner

Member's or members' ?

(16 Posts)
Elegran Thu 11-Aug-11 15:31:03

DS has a nice new website promoting his company, which I approve of on almost all counts (website and company both), but we disagree about his use of "member's area" where I think he should have "members' area" He argues that each member can have his/her own page, which makes it an area for each (singular) member, but I say the whole area is common to all (plural) members".

Any comments from our experts? The whole page is at if you want to see the context. It is about two thirds of the way down the page.

absentgrana Thu 11-Aug-11 15:44:36

Members' area I think, otherwise, following your DS's logic, it should be member's areas – and even that is iffy.

susiecb Thu 11-Aug-11 15:44:59

I agree with you - its the area that belongs to the members.

Acheron Thu 11-Aug-11 16:04:55

I'm no expert but I am a pedant....I would say members' because it applies to all the members.

jangly Thu 11-Aug-11 16:12:26

Of course its members'.


jackyann Thu 11-Aug-11 16:28:04

Doesn't it look wonderful? And I think it must take a lot of intelligence & drive to do something like that. I also doubt that anyone using it properly will notice, and you should probably be grateful that he even attempts apostrophes!

However, to answer the question:
Members' area
OR member's individual areas

However, I think it would be clearer to say "....provison of a secure area for individual members..."

Don't expect he wants to hear that!!!

jangly Thu 11-Aug-11 16:29:55

Oh yes. That's lovely.


jangly Thu 11-Aug-11 16:30:36

the website that is.

WWOTN Thu 11-Aug-11 19:27:05

isn't members' possessive and member's a short way of saying member is? Always was confused.

jangly Thu 11-Aug-11 19:35:21

Or - member his = member's. comma in the air to show something has been left out.

I remeber this from infants' school. hmm



Infants' = infants their school = infants' school.

I have been force fed wine. This is getting difficult.

Ariadne Fri 19-Aug-11 10:46:55

I was an English teacher and the misuse of the apostrophe still drives me mad. Someone once put forward a case for abolishing it, saying that the context was usually enough for people to understand. My last Year 11 thought this was a wonderful idea!

em Fri 19-Aug-11 11:22:41

Oh Ariadne have you ploughed through the Pedants' Corner? I feel that most of the problem would be solved if people simply grasped that it is not necessary to add apostrophes every time they type letter 's' at the end of a word - ie more emphasis on when not to use them. Once the rules are grasped it really is so simple. If that's too complicated then yes, let's abolish it. Other languages manage without it. However the pedant in me wishes that it could be used properly as abolishing it is more or less giving in!

Baggy Fri 19-Aug-11 11:44:47

Has a look at tbe page, em. i agree with you that it should be members'. I can see why he's arguing for the other though, as the sentence can be read ambiguously as referring to only one member. I don't think that's what it means though.

My reading of it is that it's a secure space for as many members as wish to use it, which would make it a members' page — a page for members.

Baggy Fri 19-Aug-11 11:45:00


goose1964 Thu 25-Aug-11 19:20:16

will also agree it members'

raggygranny Thu 25-Aug-11 19:43:16

Definitely members', otherwise it sounds like an area for a secure member! smile