Remember the movie Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? That’s okay; I mostly don’t either. There’s just one part that stuck with me: Richard Gere pointed out that in every relationship Julia is in she orders the same egg dish as her boyfriend. I think that stuck with me because I had a friend who did the same thing but with beer.
Most of us have to change a little when we get into a relationship—it’s what they call compromise—but some people really change when, as we say in the grammar industry, they go from singular to plural.
Some words do too. When most words change from singular to plural, they simply accumulate an s (e.g., egg becomes eggs). But some words change in more dramatic ways. When man and woman become plural, they exchange their a’s for e’s; and when child becomes plural, it goes crazy and slaps on ren.
And it’s cool; I’m not judging. Sometimes it’s good to make drastic changes. Maybe Julia never would have tried poached eggs and then realized she loved them, which is great because they are so much healthier than fried.
So why do I bring this up?
Because I saw this the other day:
Most of the time, we place the apostrophe outside the s when we are showing plural possession. For example:
She always copies her boyfriends’ egg orders.
Because the apostrophe is outside the s, it’s clear to the reader that we are referring to the egg orders of more than one of her boyfriends, as opposed to:
She always copies her boyfriend’s egg orders.
Because the apostrophe is before the s, it shows the reader that we are talking about the egg orders of only one boyfriend.
So what’s the problem with placing the apostrophe after the s in children, you might ask. It’s plural after all.
Well, here’s the thing: The word children is only plural. We can never say there is one children. Well, it’s a free country; we can say it, but we’d be grammatically incorrect. There’s no reason to place the apostrophe after the s; we already know we are talking about more than one child. Therefore, the correct way to express it is “Children’s Education Rooms.”
Although, now I am totally freaked out about what kind of education these children are getting!