ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » English » Art/Literary

collector's edition -- apostrophe?

English translation: no translation - proper usage of apostrophe

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:collector's edition
English translation:no translation - proper usage of apostrophe
Entered by: R. A. Stegemann
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

21:05 Apr 21, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / Music box set
English term or phrase: collector's edition -- apostrophe?
A strictly grammatical question:

Apostrophe or no apostrophe in "collectors"? Or, even, does the apostrophe go outside (" collectors' ")?

My instinct is to include one between the r and s, but I suspect I must have also seen the term written differently which is why I find myself questioning it.

Thanks for any and all help!
Maria Nicholas
Local time: 02:44
collector's edition
Explanation:
Although I agree with Steve, I do not agree for the same reason. As someone else has already suggested, common usage often does not adhere to the grammatical rules that might otherwise dictate proper usage.

I would go with your own natural inclination for the following reason: publishers print books for the purpose of selling. In other words book titles are selected according to their likely appeal to those individuals who purchase them.

Some customers purchase books, as others would purchase stamps or coins -- to add them to their collection. If you purchase the book to add to your collection, then you are a collector, and you purchase the collector's edition.

It is a matter of perspective and market efficiency, which dictates which correct grammatical rule should be applied.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-22 09:20:58 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This is a special note to John. Many nouns are used as adjectives for other nouns. Grammatically her interpretation is not wrong. Simply she fails as does Siulach in taking the market perspective into consideration. The perspective which I believe to be the decisive factor in this case.
Selected response from:

R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 15:44
Grading comment
Thanks very much -- this was the answer I was looking for. I'm glad my instinct was right (especially since the job has already gone to print! :) Thanks to everyone for their answers -- I found the debate quite fascinating.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +7collector's edition
R. A. Stegemann
4 +3collector's edition
Steven Geller
5Collector's editionWerner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
4 +1dependsKlaus Dorn
4 -4COLLECTORS' EDITIONxxxLia Fail
4 -6Collectors Edition
Terry Burgess


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -6
Collectors Edition


Explanation:
Without the apostrophe. I myself would normall be tempted to use it but many Google hits show the word WITHOUT the apostrophe.

See:

http://www.microsoft.com/games/agecollectors/

The Age of Empires Collectors Edition includes all four award-winning Age titles, as well as a music-filled CD with all your favorite Age of Empires tracks. The music was written by Ensemble Studios Team members Stephen Rippy, David Rippy, and Kevin McMullan. With 20 tracks on the CD, each of the games in the Age of Empires series is well represented. There's even a previously unreleased version of the Age of Empires main theme included.

Luck!
terry


    Above
Terry Burgess
Mexico
Local time: 01:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 119

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Klaus Dorn: it's the edition for collectors, hence the apostrophe should go after the word, see below
4 mins

agree  Barbara Szelest-VanDussen: "Collectors" is an adjective not a genitive of a noun in this case. Nobody "owns" anything. Thank you.
34 mins

disagree  Irina Filippova: This is a descriptive genitive that requires apostrophe: collector’s edition. Although, as Barbara pointed correctly, nobody owns anything, the genitive case has always had many more purposes than simply indicating possession.
1 hr

neutral  R. A. Stegemann: Linguistic efficiency is not always achieved by bending to common use. Part of what makes common usage accepted usage, is the lack of industry among experts whose responsibility it is to enforce the rules.
2 hrs

disagree  John Kinory: See Hamo below. And Barbara is way off-beam in relying on it being an adjective.
2 hrs

disagree  Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO): Sorry, Terry, but common usage contradicts your reasoning. Plus, Google may be a wonderful thing, but I would not rely on it for this kind of information.
2 hrs

disagree  athena22: A possessive requires apostrophe...even though usage is getting sloppier and sloppier on the web...
10 hrs

disagree  Maria Knorr: Google???
13 hrs

disagree  Erika Pavelka: I've only ever seen it with an apostrophe.
15 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
depends


Explanation:
it depends which grammatical case we have:

a) It's the collector's fault.

Here we saying "it's the fault of the collector and there has to be an apostrophe.

b) We could all be rubbish collectors.

Here we have a plural form of collector, in which case there's never to be an apostrophe.

c) It's the collectors' task.

Here the apostrophe comes after the last letter of the plural form, as this sentence means "it's the task of the collectors."

OK, I think that's it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-21 21:19:57 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

by the way - the Internet destroys English grammar (Google....)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-21 22:02:18 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

by the way - the Internet destroys English grammar (Google....)

Klaus Dorn
Local time: 09:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  R. A. Stegemann: Yes, it does depend, but not likely for the reasons that you provide. Please see below.
2 hrs

neutral  John Kinory: So which is it? I agree about Google.
2 hrs
  -> Maria knows the context, so she would know just how many collectors there are...

neutral  Maria Knorr: It does depend, and internet horrbibly destroys grammar
13 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

46 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
collector's edition


Explanation:
"Collector's edition" gets 190,000 hits on Google.

(Native speaker)




    Reference: http://www.google.fr/search?q=%22collector%27s+edition%22&hl...
Steven Geller
Local time: 08:44
PRO pts in pair: 2

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Irina Filippova: New York Public Library has series called "NY Public Library Collector's Edition"
17 mins

agree  R. A. Stegemann: I agree, but for a very different reason. Please see below.
1 hr

agree  xxxkatica
1 hr

neutral  John Kinory: Right answer, wrong reason (Google is no judge). See Hamo.
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -4
COLLECTORS' EDITION


Explanation:
Two possibilities:

If there is just one collector - collector's edition

If there are 2+ collectors - collectors' edition

It's quite obvious that the second case applies to you, so the second option is the only correct one.

Note that in English the 'genitive' of plural nouns is formed in this way. However if the plural is irregular or a word ends in S, then the rule adapts(logically, not to pile 's' on top of 's'.

Thus the children's books
The Jones' car



xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 08:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 86

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Klaus Dorn: that's the way I see it too...
34 mins

disagree  John Kinory: A given book can only be sold to one collector. See Hamo.
1 hr

disagree  R. A. Stegemann: This alternative, though justifiable grammatically from a particular perspective, does not stand-up when viewed in proper market context.
1 hr
  -> I agree absolutely, you explianed it perfectly and I will now revise my own perspective on the English genitive!

disagree  Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO): I disagree, and so does Webster's.
1 hr

disagree  athena22: Although this makes some sense, I don't think it's quite right. A collector's edition is one edition & many copies, each bought by a collector, i.e., the singular + apostrophe + s is the correct usage. I think that Hamo has nailed it.
9 hrs

disagree  Maria Knorr: I don't see how it's obvious that the second case applies here
12 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
collector's edition


Explanation:
Although I agree with Steve, I do not agree for the same reason. As someone else has already suggested, common usage often does not adhere to the grammatical rules that might otherwise dictate proper usage.

I would go with your own natural inclination for the following reason: publishers print books for the purpose of selling. In other words book titles are selected according to their likely appeal to those individuals who purchase them.

Some customers purchase books, as others would purchase stamps or coins -- to add them to their collection. If you purchase the book to add to your collection, then you are a collector, and you purchase the collector's edition.

It is a matter of perspective and market efficiency, which dictates which correct grammatical rule should be applied.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-22 09:20:58 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This is a special note to John. Many nouns are used as adjectives for other nouns. Grammatically her interpretation is not wrong. Simply she fails as does Siulach in taking the market perspective into consideration. The perspective which I believe to be the decisive factor in this case.

R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 15:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 132
Grading comment
Thanks very much -- this was the answer I was looking for. I'm glad my instinct was right (especially since the job has already gone to print! :) Thanks to everyone for their answers -- I found the debate quite fascinating.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  John Kinory: Exactly: it's for the individual collector (a given book is sold to one collector, not many).
10 mins
  -> Well yes, the book is sold to many _individual_ collectors. Thanks for your support.

agree  Chris Rowson: Yes. The price is higher for "´s" than for "s´" becauase it is supposed to make the purchaser feel "more unique". John, while a given copy is for one person, the edition is for many. But nevertheless this is what is used.
6 hrs
  -> Yes, you have the idea about targeting individual customers, but I do not understand your notion of pricing. Thanks.

agree  Attila Piróth
7 hrs
  -> Agreement it is nice. Thanks.

agree  Klaus Dorn: ok, so far so good, but every phrase can be expressed differently - is the the edition of the collector or the collectors?
7 hrs
  -> It is the edition of the buyer, because he/she is the collector. The publishers targets buyers from the individual buyer's point of view -- not the point of view of buyers in general.

agree  athena22: The edition is published so that each collector may have his or her copy or copies. Therefore, it is singular, even though many copies are printed.
8 hrs
  -> Yes, this is my take as well. Thanks for your support.

agree  jerrie: the edition is probably a 'limited edition', in that a limited number will be released making the edition ultimately desirable to the discerning collector. The collector is an individual within a group and the edition is individual within a limited number
8 hrs
  -> Yes, where there is demand, scarcity increases value. I wonder how the law defines a collector's edition.... Thanks for your support.

agree  Maria Knorr: best explanation
11 hrs
  -> Agreement's nice, thanks.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Collector's edition


Explanation:
This is the proper spelling (singular, apostrophe) according to Webster's (going by its entry for "collector's item).

So, your choice: Google or Webster's ..... hmmmmmm


    Webster's
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 02:44
PRO pts in pair: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: