On Tue, 04 Oct 2005 23:14:53 -0400, Anton Sherwood <bronto@...>

> How long have we had a consistent distinction between -s, -'s and -s' ?

Hoping I'm not too far off the track, as to topic -- Over several decades
(I'm almost 70), I've long seen the possessive of a name, for instance,
ending in "s" omit the second "s", as in [Bates'] (square brackets to
replace quotes, here). That must have been a simplification of an earlier
form, such as [Bates's]. However, we seem to be returning to the style of
the last-stated example.

Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass. (Not "MA")
The curious hermit -- autodidact and polymath
Dilettante student of writing systems