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Language scholars have a word for the sound made by the letter s.

White once wrote of Florida: Everywhere, for the appreciative visitor, the letter s insinuates itself Whataya got the scene: This brings me to E.

Which takes us to the sticky problems of sibilance created when we attach one s to another. This makes great sense to me because it echoes the way we would speak the word aloud.

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There are classic examples, of course, when adding an s gives your tongue that Velcro feeling. Why does this matter?

In a recent edition of my hometown newspaper, I read a story that contained these two important sentences: It cost him his life. Most language experts advise writers to ignore restrictions that require you to write or say something awkward or ugly, especially something that offends the ear.

Let Whataya got match punctuation to speech.

To form a possessive singular, add an apostrophe and the letter s: To form a possessive plural, in Whataya got cases, add the apostrophe after the s: If the plural of a noun does not end in sadd an apostrophe plus s to form the possessive: If a proper noun a name ends in an sadd an apostrophe plus s in most cases, but let your Whataya got guide you through the tough ones.

On this usage and all others, make sure you know which style manual governs decisions. It may change as you switch jobs or professions.

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Language scholars have a word for the sound made by the letter s. They call it a sibilant, derived from the Latin word meaning “to hiss.” Leave it.

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