Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Dec 30 2008   10:22PM GMT

Writing for business – New Year’s, New Years or New Years’ Eve?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

noisemaker.jpg Which is correct?
After the celebrations of ____________, January 1 seems like an excellent choice for a holiday.
a. New Year’s Eve
b. New Years Eve
c. New Years’ Eve

Answer: a
New Year’s Eve is a possessive form; it’s the eve of the new year. And, since it can only be the eve of one year at a time, it’s singular possessive rather than plural.

18  Comments on this Post

 
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  • eddietr198
    Do learn to spell "millennium"
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  • trlkly
    @eddietr198:

    The word millennium is not used at all in this question or the response. What is your meaning?
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  • GrammarQueen
    Thank you trlkly...i didn't understand that point either.
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  • Chysil
    You could actually make a case for B as well. While I understand someone who would see it as a possessive, I personally see it as the proper name for the 31st of December. They are different days, and one day does not possess the other.

    Much in the same way many people don't say Christmas Eve or Chistmas's Eve.
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  • Chysil
    It should read Christmas' Eve above for the first instance. I guess I didn't hit the ' hard enough on my keyboard.
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  • Ashvini
    I want to know which of these is correct---- Best all round student or best all rounder
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  • pagangaia
    It's actually not hard to work out where apostrophes should go. Just put the phrase another way to include the word 'of', like this: "the eve of New Year", and put the apostrophe where the word year ends (in this case). 
    I use the following example when teaching foreign students the basic rule for the possessive: 
    The girl's umbrella - belonging to one girl
    The girls' umbrella - belonging to 2 or more girls

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  • diatoms
    How can something belong, or be possessed by, (the eve) something that doesn't yet exist...the new year?
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  • diatoms
    Or to put it another way, how can a future (and therefore hypothetical)girl possess an umbrella that exists now, in the present?
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  • gvofbbszfwx
    Woooowww... we got us some gramma' nazis in da house!
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  • gvofbbszfwx
    who cares how you write it? As long as the writing is legible and people can understand your point, I don't see the problem of saying "please RSVP" or "New Years Eve." Lighten up and have a little fun. Find your wild side and go... do whatever it is that you think is fun. It's the holidays; just sit back and relax.
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  • Nasim786
    answer : a
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  • ravenslunatic
    Year is an inanimate object.  It contains days. But it does not possess days. B is correct.
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  • ThePedantKing
    @gvofbbszfwx-

    English is a very expressive language and one that can be used to convey very subtle nuances of meaning, consider 'I don't believe that fairies exist' compared to 'I believe that fairies don't exist'; slightly different meaning, subtle but different. You are correct when you state that one's point should be understood, that is why it is important to maintain standards in spelling, punctuation and grammar in order to ensure that one's thoughts are interpreted correctly. Let me give you a small example from your own post- you write 'who cares how you write it' yet you fail to identify to whom you were referring. I assumed you were addressing me as it was I that read it, that is why I responded. If you were throwing the statement out to all, then it would have been less ambiguous to have used 'one' as opposed to 'you' which is person specific.

    At this point I suspect that you are thinking of me as a pedantic prig - perhaps I am but I feel that it is important that English is not allowed to degenerate into some kind of patois. If we let our personal standards slip we end up starting sentences with lower case letters, making ourselves appear to be uneducated and as a consequence, encouraging the reader to fail to take us seriously.
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  • NavyEMC

    ravenslunatic - in that case, it would be New Year Eve, as there is only one new year to follow...the eve of the New Year.

    As to 'how can something be possessed by something that doesn't exist yet'...although technically correct, you are splitting hairs. If there were no New Year, there would be no Eve of said New Year in the first place. It makes perfect sense to say the eve of the new year then is New Year's Eve (possessive).

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  • dnjweb

    Ha! Gramma Nazis. My tummy hurts from laughing so hard.
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  • NavyEMC
    ravenslunatic - furthermore, an inanimate object most certainly can possess something.  My computer has both a keyboard and a monitor.
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  • grant616
    ravenslunatic:  you are using too simple an understanding of "possession."  This type of construction can mean possession, or something belonging to something else, or something of something else. Or one thing "having" another. All of these are valid ways to translate this type of usage from another language.  And inanimate objects certainly can "have" other things:  a table has an edge, it is the table's edge=edge of the table. The book's spine=spine of the book.  Day's end=the end of the day. And so on.
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