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I am in a grammatical quandary right about now. I don't know how you pluralise a last name. I always thought you just added an S at the end, as in, "residence of the Stockmanns". However, literally everyone else has told me that you add an apostrophe, so as to avoid vagueness, as in, "residence of the Stockmann's". I've even confronted a few people about it, reminding them that apostrophes should never be used for plurals, and they've acknowledged that fact, but have said it is still done with family names. What is the deal?
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The way I've always understood it is that no "proper name" may have its spelling disturbed. This includes the names of products. I own two Nintendo Wii's.
There are two Jones'{s] living on Elm Street.

Then there's the question of what to do about possessive plurals of proper names ending in "s." (Sorry, my underscore is stuck again.)
I think the case you, demetrius, have given is not vague/ambiguous. To me, the phrase "residence of the Stockmann's" looks redundant since "Stockmann's" can also mean the possessive "of the Stockmann". "Residence of the Stockmanns" does not sound vague since its singular form ("residence of the Stockmann") sounds kind of illogical, unless there was a real title called "the Stockmann". If the name ended in an "s", you could choose to add an "-es" without having to resort to an apostrophe.
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Laks raises some good points. I should have thought more about this. It used to be a favorite grammar school topic, but was always somewhat controversial.
AvangiThere are two Jones'{s] living on Elm Street.
I hate to disappoint you, Avangi, but both your suggestions are very clearly badly wrong! The genitive has confused you, I think. Consider these:

one dress - two dresses, one brush - two brushes

In the same way: one Jones - two Joneses: Two Joneses live on Elm Street. This is the Joneses' car.

Mr. Jones lives on Elm Street. This is Mr. Jones's car. (Especially in AmE also, illogically: This is Mr. Jones' car.)

CB
Cool Breeze both your suggestions are very clearly badly totally wrong!
More adverbs!

I had a bad feeling when I pulled the handle on that one. But what about my two Nintendo Wii's ?

What am I thinking about? There are two u's in "vacuum"? two ues?

Edit. Hey, I'm not disappointed. Thank God you were on line to catch it!
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AvangiWhat am I thinking about? There are two u's in "vacuum"? two ues?
There is no absolute authority on grammar in English but it has long been customary to accept the apostrophe in plurals if the omission of the apostrophe would cause confusion or misunderstanding: There are two u's in "vacuum".

In addition to that, many liberal grammarians consider the apostrophe correct if the plural s is added to something other than a word, an abbreviation or a numeral, for example:

in the 1990's/1990s

There were three MP's/MPs. (= Members of Parliament)

I bought two DVD's/DVDs.

In these cases the apostrophe is more and more often omitted nowadays even though it used to be very common in the 1950s (well, there were no DVDs in those days!) and consequently quite a few consider using the apostrophe incorrect. As it usually makes no difference with regard to clarity, I don't see why those who like apostrophes couldn't be allowed to use them!Emotion: smile

Problems may arise if a genitive is needed: He is the best writer of the seventies. = He is the seventies' best writer. = He is the 70s' best writer. = He is the 70's' best writer. (?)Emotion: big smile Many would like an apostrophe for the omitted 19 as well:He is the '70's' best writer.Emotion: big smileAahhh! This is gourmet stuff! English is a marvelous language!

CB
You could say the Stockmann residence, where "Stockmann residence" is a compound noun.
"residence of the Stockmanns" is correct if there is more than one family member living there. It is plural.
or "residence of the Stockmann family"
there is no possessive relating to these.
However with the first reply: "There are two Joneses living on Elm Street" is the plural form, Jones's is the possessive form. eg "this is the Jones's dog"
I don't know that rule that Avangi mentions.
Jeannie1Jones's is the possessive form. eg "this is the Jones's dog"
Jones's is indeed the possessive form, possessive singular, that is: This is Mr. Jones's car. If the reference is to the entire family, the plural genitive must be used: This is the Joneses' car.

CB
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