Grammar Wednesday

Okay – here it is; the question that’s been on the blogosphere since Sunday.  Ready?

Is it:

Mothers Day

Mother’s Day

or

Mothers’ Day?

I can make a case for all of them, really.  What do YOU think?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Grammar Wednesday

  1. I am thinking that it is Mother’s day if I am talking about my mother — Deloria Carson; however, since we are talking about the collective — all mothers, then it would be Mothers’ Day. Am I right here?

  2. Darci

    I am going with Edward’s take…I always go with Mother’s Day

  3. mother’s day: 26,300,000 hits
    mothers day: 12,700,000 hits
    mothers’ day: 12,700,000 hits

  4. So it wasn’t just me asking this? I feel all validated!

    I’m also really interested that mothers and mothers’ had exactly the same number of hits as per John.

    I think Mothers’ Day. It’s for everyone. If it was only for one mother Hallmark wouldn’t make any dough.

  5. fermat

    I would go with “Mother’s” because you are dealing with the individual. Biologically, a child would only have one mother and each child would focus on the individual instead of the collective.

  6. Eddie, your second point is closest to my thinking. It is a day for ALL of them…

    Heh, John – decision by Google. I’ve not tried that route before…. Now THAT’S an example of descriptive grammar, right?

    Nope, Kizz; you weren’t the only one to wonder. Actually, it’s been bugging me for years now.

    Fermat, I have more than one mother (though, if we’re getting right down to it, the biological one doesn’t count, so I guess it’s fair to say that I DO only have one). Still, I like the inclusiveness of Mothers’. My thinking is that this question is going to boil down to a question of perspective and preference, anyway…

  7. Heh, John – decision by Google. I’ve not tried that route before…. Now THAT’S an example of descriptive grammar, right?

    Yep… altho Google may not be the best corpus to draw from. Punctuation use in English, especially apostrophe use, has never been consistent. There are a number of trends that have converged and don’t make much sense together.

    This is from The Oxford Companion to the English Language (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O29-APOSTROPHE.html):
    “…it appears from the evidence that there was never a golden age in which the rules for the use of the possessive apostrophe in English were clear-cut and known, understood, and followed by most educated people.”

  8. Somehow “mothers day” makes most sense to me. It’s not “MLK’s day” either. Don’t know though, because the other options seem valid to me too.

  9. drtombibey

    I better go ask my mama. She was an English teacher before she retired.

    I figure whatever she says is true.

    Dr. B

  10. KAM

    Without doubt mothers’ day…

    Vividly remember the grammar lesson at school!!!

    Though one teacher insisted it was Mothering Sunday and that none of the afore mentioned apply!

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