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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Criminal Sentence 288: How Many Lawyers?

From a book I'm reading:

"[I] looked through the lawyer's directory until I found a number, and made the call."

If there really were something called a lawyer's directory, only one name would be in it because the apostrophe tells us so: lawyer's.

So I think we need to put the apostrophe in the right place: lawyers'.


WesT said...

I'm not so certain as I don't have the full context. It may have been someone sneaking into a law office at night and checking out the Rolodex (do they still have those?), so he would be looking in the directory that belonged to that one lawyer: the lawyer's directory. Right?

The Sentence Sleuth said...

There might be a slight chance that you're right, but I think the sentence was talking about a bound volume with names of lawyers, so "lawyers' directory" would be right. Thanks for your comment.

David said...

If it is a directory containing the names of lawyers, then I think just lawyers directory would do. Lawyers describes the directory. Lawyers' implies they own and manage the directory and that,perhaps, it is for only their specific use.