I know I know... The last thing you want from me is a grammar lesson. But let's be honest? With several holidays coming up, I thought we could all use a little refresher.  

Today I am sharing with you the TOP 5 GRAMMATICAL ERRORS when writing your name and how to avoid them. As a calligrapher, I see some pretty scary combinations of s, 's, es, and even ies.

When addressing envelopes, creating wood signs, or even just writing out quotes or prints, I see so many errors that make me cringe. I have always been a grammar freak (thanks mom!) and in college I would read over my now-husband's papers to find grammar issues for fun (sorry babe!). But it's okay if it doesn't come naturally because I am here to help remind you of the important stuff!

1) Plural vs. Posessive

I think we first need to address the difference between plural and possessive forms of a name.

The possessive form of a name is showing ownership. For example, "The Johnson's car" or "The Patterson's House". The plural form of a name is showing the group of people who are under that name. This is the version of a name you should be using for all personalized gifts and envelope addressing. For example, "The Johnsons" or "The Patterson Family".


2) The Dreaded 'S

It's pretty simple really. When you are referring to your family as a group of people (on a wood sign for example), there is NO apostrophe. Ever. The correct way to write a family name would be "The Cooks" or "The Logans". 

I also see a lot of people afraid of names that end in 'y'. They tend to add '-ies' to their name (ex: Murphyies). Not only does this look super strange, but it is wrong. Just like most other letters, just simply add the 's' after the 'y', making it "The Murphys".


3) The Joneses

As awkward as this looks, it is correct! Any time a name ends in an 's', you should add an 'es' to the end of the name. Other examples include "The Lewises" or "The Harrises". Use the chart below for an easy check.


4) The Lewis Family

Sometimes, it gets a little awkward when trying to form the plural of a name that ends in the letter s. Say you don't like the way "The Lewises" looks for a family sign or home decor? When this happens, I usually leave the last name as is and add 'family' after it. That way, you are still addressing the group as a whole without all the complication. This is not typically done with formal invitations, but it works for just about anything else in a casual setting! EX: The Smith Family, The Clark Family, etc.

5) Tricky Combinations

Here are some other tricky titles that you might come across. I am going to use Tim Gardner and Sarah Johnson as examples.


What other questions do you have related to grammar? Have a tricky name you still aren't sure how to format? Drop them below and I'll do my best to answer them!


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