Possessives and Attributives

Q. It is my contention as a longtime editor and writer (and avid amateur cook and baker) that the apostrophe in “confectioner’s sugar” should precede the “s” in “confectioners.” Yet in recipes throughout the US, for many years the apostrophe has typically followed the “s” of “confectioners.” I maintain that this is incorrect and a fairly recent (in decades) development. What do you think?

Q. I have a question about the possessive of a plural acronym, but where the plural is only evident in the term’s full name, not the acronym. The acronym in question is “HHS,” for (Department of) “Health and Human Services.” In the following sentence fragment, should one write HHS’s or HHS’?: “There was no better test of [HHS’s/HHS’] commitment to its mission than . . .” Thank you!

Q. How would you make “news” possessive? It would seem that you would recommend just an apostrophe (as in CMOS 7.20), but that doesn’t quite make sense to me, since I would pronounce the possessive with an extra s, as in “the news’s problem” or “The Daily News’s new editor.” I’m sorry if you’ve covered this question already, but when I tried searching CMOS I didn’t find anything.

Q. My sister-in-law recently claimed that the card we get from the DMV that allows us to legally drive is supposed to be referred to as a “driver license” instead of a “driver’s license.” I would love to hear your input as this has been bothering me for a few weeks now!

Q. How do I refer to the burgers at McDonald’s, given that the name already has a possessive apostrophe ess in it? If I say “McDonald’s burgers” then that is just burgers belonging to McDonald, but “McDonald’s’s burgers” feels wrong to me.

Q. George Wilkens is a character in my novel. (Yes, I know I should have named him something without an “s” as the last letter!) My question is, Which is correct: “George Wilkens’s house” or “George Wilkens’ house”? After a study of several different sections of CMOS, I think that the former is correct. Can you verify that for me? Thanks.

Q. It just occurred to me that “Achilles’ heel” is wrong, according to CMOS 7.17. It should be “Achilles’s heel,” right?

Q. We are adding Indigenous Peoples’ Day to our company calendar. Is the apostrophe appropriate, as with Presidents’ Day, or no apostrophe, as in Veterans Day?

Q. I understand CMOS’s position on this, but I need help with my argument. Our company’s acronym is singular and ends in an S, just like CMOS. I want to write it with an apostrophe s when needing possession, but others want to use only the apostrophe, as in CMOS’. I need help with my argument with my boss. Thank you.

Q. Good morning! I want to know, should it be “farmers’ market” or “farmers market”? I see everything out there, including “farmer’s market.” Anyway, just a seasonal curiosity for you all!