Why There Is No Apostrophe In “Veterans Day”
Why is it not “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day”? Professor Pat Okker at the University of Missouri explains:
- The first variation, “Veteran’s,” uses the singular noun in its possessive case, suggesting that the day ‘belongs’ to each veteran.
- The second variant, “Veterans’,” is the plural noun in the possessive case, which suggests that the day belongs to all veterans.
- The third variation, “Veterans,” is attributive, meaning the word functions as an adjective rather than a possessive noun.
By Professor Okker’s measure, No. 3 is the superlative choice.
“Since the first example (Veteran’s Day) would refer to only one veteran, that seems not to be the best choice,” Okker said.
Okker thinks Veterans’ Day is a “viable option” but ultimately favors “Veterans” because it not possessive.
“It suggests that it is a holiday that belongs to all of us to honor veterans,” Okker wrote in an e-mail. “To me, that is the appropriate meaning: Veterans Day isn’t a holiday just for some Americans; instead it is a national holiday for us all to honor veterans. The absence of the apostrophe, then, says a lot,” Okker wrote.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 Liberaland