Discussion:A challenge.

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Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

11 January 2014
Throwing down the gauntlet: Can someone kindly cite the rule of grammar that's being followed when some of us make IRS' (without an "s") the possessive of IRS? Thank you.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2014
This completely unauthoritative source http://www.writingenglish.com/possessive.htm would say IRS's is the correct way to spell it. Here is exactly what they say: Create the possessive form of an abbreviation in the same manner as you would for a word or term that was spelled out completely. Add 's for the singular possessive or an apostrophe only for the plural possessive.

the IRS's district offices AT&T's 1-800-telephone number NBC's newscast IBM Corp.'s district sales office

But is IRS singular? Would you say the IRS is after me? Or, the IRS are after me? The latter is, I think, the British way.

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2014
I believe correct usage is illustrated by CBS's, BCS's, OAS's, CMS's, DHHS's...

And I would say that when we have more than one IRS, then we can start to worry about what the possessive of the plural "IRSes" would be.

Don't get me started on the NIH and the CDC, both plural but construed as singular in context.

That particular website is a catastrophe, Len.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2014
Also, when did we stop putting periods in abbreviations of proper names? IRS, AICPA, TA.

Possessive of AICPA is AICPA's.

Possessive of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is ?

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2014
Topic for later discussion: the differences between abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms.

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