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Girls basketball, girl's basketball or girls' basketball?

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Clever username, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    Which one is it? This seems like such a stupid question, but I've seen it so many different ways in so many different publications that I'm just plain confused at this point. We use girls basketball or boys soccer but men's cross country. Men or women is already plural, so I can see that, but wouldn't it be girls' or boys' basketball?
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    I use, and i believe most do, girls basketball.

    There is no ownership of said sport. Unless the basketball is just that, a ball, as in, "Biff Tannen picked up the girl's/girls' basketball and chucked it across the street."
  3. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Proper AP and grammar style is girls basketball. Although some papers use their own style and make it girls' basketball. The only way it would be girl's basketball is through a typo or if only one girl was playing in the game.
  4. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    yeah, i didn't really think it was girl's basketball, I was just throwing that one in there.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    So how do you account for men's and women's basketball?
  6. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Because the words "men" and "women" are already plural - as opposed to "boy" or "girl", which require the additional confusing "s" to become so.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yes, but isn't men's possessive? So if you say men's basketball, don't you need to say boys' basketball?
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    One would think so. There's little logic in a stylebook, though. I'm on your side.
  9. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    No. Type in "mens" or "womens" basketball and see how that looks ... doesn't look right, does it? That's probably because neither "mens" nor "womens" is a word that can found in the dictionary. And that's probably why you need to make "men's" and "women's" basketball possessive, but not "boys" or "girls."

    Just my two cents.
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