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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Avoid Holiday Family Card Fails: How To Make Your Last Name Plural

The holiday season is upon us. That means your mailbox is soon to be filled with warm and fuzzy holiday cards from family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

Perhaps reading that was a reminder that you need to send out a few dozen, too! And when you do, don't fall victim to the age-old grammar fail that so many families overlook during the holiday season: using an apostrophe to pluralize their last name.

You don't need the apostrophe!

Here's how to make your last name plural: just add an "s."

Granted, there are exceptions. But for the majority, that's all you have to do.

Incorrect: "Happy Holidays from the Gamel's."

Correct: "Happy Holidays from the Gamels."

Incorrect: "Happy Turkey Day from the Smith's"

Correct: "Happy Turkey day from the Smiths."

It may seem correct – natural even – to add an apostrophe to your last name. When you do that, though, you're not making your last name plural. You're making it possessive.

You're also setting yourself up for ridicule from every Grammar Nazi in your family.

Writing "the Gamels" or "the Millers" or even "the Gordons" may look weird, but we do it because we are signing for every member of the family.

Thus, it needs to be plural.

Pluralizing last names doesn't have to be hard

There are slight variations to pluralizing last names that you need to consider depending on how your last name is spelled. Here is an awesome chart from fellow writer and blogger Kate Brannen that perfectly spells out how to make your last name plural on a holiday card.

Below are a few more examples to help you pluralize your last name:

* The Harveys

* The Meltons

* The Bartons

* The Murrays

* The Joneses

* The Burches

* The Gonzalezes

* The Maddoxes

* The Ashes

Remember: The only time you add an apostrophe to a family name is if you are making your last name possessive. The cool part is that if you're still confused, simply write around it ...

"Happy Holidays from The Gamel Family."

Call Edit This for all your writing and editing needs

It's fun to tease friends on Facebook or point out errors in written copy. Still, any spelling or grammar error in business writing – brochures, your website content, blog posts, press releases, newsletters, a postcard, etc. – can wreak havoc on your company's image. It can also make you look silly when sending out holiday cards.

If you're interested in having Edit This handle your company's content writing and editing needs or give your holiday cards a once-over, give us a call today! We write copy from scratch or spruce up what you already have.

When it comes to grammar, everyone could use an extra set of eyes.

*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

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