Dear Experts,

We are starting up a new health and wellness company. The company name will be Results Health and Wellness. When referring to Results's services, is this the correct way to use write this possessive version or should we use Results'. If we are referring to Results' or Results's mission (singular noun) which version is correct?

Several of the physicians serving as corporate directors have a hot debate going over this grammatical dilemma with an expensive lunch is 'on the line' for the winner!

Thanks so much,

Sheryl Reid

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The Purdue writing guide gives this rule:

  • add 's to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s):
the owner's car James's hat (James' hat is also acceptable. For plural, proper nouns that are possessive, use an apostrophe after the 's': "The Eggles' presentation was good." The Eggles are a husband and wife consultant team.)

Here is another resource for you:

Some writers will say that the -s after Charles' is not necessary and that adding only the apostrophe (Charles' car) will suffice to show possession. Consistency is the key here: if you choose not to add the -s after a noun that already ends in s, do so consistently throughout your text. William Strunk's Elements of Style recommends adding the 's. (In fact, oddly enough, it's Rule Number One in Strunk's "Elementary Rules of Usage.") You will find that some nouns, especially proper nouns, especially when there are other -s and -z sounds involved, turn into clumsy beasts when you add another s: "That's old Mrs. Chambers's estate." In that case, you're better off with "Mrs. Chambers' estate."

The company name will be Results Health and Wellness.

How you refer to the company informally is one question.

But in formal English, eg in commmunications with customers, it seems to me that you should speak of the company by its full name.

eg Results Health and Wellness's services are as follows.