Editorial Style Guide

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(Laurie Smith-Frailey)


There are really just two rules to remember, whether you’re pluralizing a given (first) name or a surname (last name):

  • If the name ends in s, sh, ch, x or z, add es.
  • In every other case, add s.

Similarly, there are two fundamental no-no’s:

  • Never change a y to ies when pluralizing a name; and
  • Never, ever use apostrophes!



  • The Flaherty’s live here.
  • The Flaherties live here.


  • The Flahertys live here.
  • Sandra’s two favorite boyfriends are Charleses.
  • There are seven Joneses in Stuart’s little black book—three of them Jennifers.
  • The Hopkinses are coming over for dinner tonight.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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