Lowercase 's or capital 's ('S) after word in all caps in contracts
Thread poster: Reed James

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 07:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Apr 3, 2014

Hi. I am currently proofreading a contract in which all names in all caps that have an 's after them use a lowercase s. Example: OPERATOR's. It looks funny to me and I am inclined to capitalize the s's. Could this be a legal drafting strategy to make sure that the 's is not part of the actual name? Any help would be appreciated.

Reed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I think you are right. Apr 4, 2014

Hi Reed,

As far as I know, these should just be written as: OPERATOR'S.

Perhaps the author of your text is applying the rule re: using a small 's' in words like ‘ABCs’, ‘NGOs’, etc.

Michael


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:30
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
More detailed examples? Apr 4, 2014

It's quite difficult without any context to get a feeling for this. Also, you say that your difficulty is with names but the example you give is an ordinary noun...

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:30
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I think you are right too Apr 4, 2014

I must admit that I usually only use an initial capital, and then there is no question about it -

the Company, the Seller etc. so the Company's ... or the Seller's ...

That is what clients expect over here, at any rate.
But if you are going to capitalise all through, (and as it is a proof, it is probably not entirely your decision!) -- then the genitive S should also be capitalised IMHO.

It is another matter in NGOs and acronyms like that, to show that it is the plural S, and not another letter in the acronym.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:30
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Doesn't it depend on how the contract is worded Apr 4, 2014

I'm very far from being a contract specialist but I do know there's usually a bit at the start that defines the parties and gives them a short name that's then used in the rest of the text.

Is that what you're referring to here? If so, I suspect it may be correct to put that exact name in capitals, and then do the normal thing for the possessive add-on.

But you really need a contract specialist's answer.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
I'd usually leave the 's in the case you'd logically expect Apr 4, 2014

I'd usually only capitalise the 's if the corresponding part of the translation is also in capitals (and I was keeping the capitals in English: it's not necessarily a very English convention, whereas e.g. French contract drafters love capitalising everything under the sun). So for example:

"la responsabilité de la société VITAGROS" -> "(the company) VITAGROS's responsibility"
"un document intitulé RESPONSABILITÉ DE VITAGROS" -> "a document entitled VITAGROS'S RESPONSIBILITY"

If you're for some reason worried that your contract won't look like a normal, easy-to-read piece of prose specifically because of the use of 's, well... I've got news for you...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 07:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
'S it is Apr 4, 2014

I've decide to make those 'S's uppercase to match the case of the name of the company (COCA-COLA, EXXON, etc.). I know that if the company name is an acronym (ABC), then the 's must be lowercase.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
I obviously missed that Bible class... Apr 4, 2014

Reed D James wrote:
I've decide to make those 'S's uppercase to match the case of the name of the company (COCA-COLA, EXXON, etc.).


Fair enough -- it's your editorial decision.

Reed D James wrote:
I know that if the company name is an acronym (ABC), then the 's must be lowercase.


Really, it must, must it? According to which divine entity?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 07:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
No divine entity (Divine Entity) here, but... Apr 5, 2014

Reed D James wrote:
I know that if the company name is an acronym (ABC), then the 's must be lowercase.



Really, it must, must it? According to which divine entity?


Hi Neil,

No, there's no divine entity telling me that this is so, but I like to set a rule and follow it when proofreading or translating. Sometimes I will be flexible and make exceptions. After all, this is not math. However, it would be frustrating for a reader to see "ABC's" and "ABC'S" (where ABC is the company name) in the same sentence or same document.

What's your take on this, Neil? I'd be interested to know.

[Edited at 2014-04-05 15:31 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:30
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
fwiw, I'm with Neil on this one Apr 6, 2014

Also, Reed, I don't follow your reasoning. If the 's "must" be lowercase with an uppercase acronym, and if as you say (and I agree) is is confusing for the reader to see at times "NAME'S" and at others "ACRONYM's", then it seems to me you yourself are arguing for the use of lowercase 's throughout, which you then decide not to do...

Direct link Reply with quote
 

James Greenfield  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
I'm with Neil too Apr 6, 2014

I'm with Neil also on this one, I presume OPERATOR in capitals refers back to one of the parties to the contract mentioned at the start. For example at the start of the contract you might have the words hereinafter referred to as the 'OPERATOR' Therefore, only the word operator should be in capitals thereafter and not the possesive add on.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
Not against deciding on a rule and then sticking to it! :) Apr 7, 2014

Reed D James wrote:
No, there's no divine entity telling me that this is so, but I like to set a rule and follow it when proofreading or translating. Sometimes I will be flexible and make exceptions. After all, this is not math. However, it would be frustrating for a reader to see "ABC's" and "ABC'S" (where ABC is the company name) in the same sentence or same document.


I completely agree with that: whichever form or rule you decide on, for the sake of consistency, then it's best to then stick it. My comment was more that you seemed to be implying that there was an a priori reason to decide against the *specific* rule that I had suggested, and I couldn't see why that would be.

As you can see, I'd personally choose a different rule to you, but it's just an arbitrary editorial decision at the end of the day.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Lowercase 's or capital 's ('S) after word in all caps in contracts

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search