8 Dec

Am I a Little Possessive? Absolutely! But Only When Necessary…

By Libby Esterle, Senior Account Executive

Ahh…the holidays. Time for evergreen wreaths and trees, shopping, friends and family gatherings and,  for most of us, anyway, giving and receiving the annual holiday greeting cards. After all, holiday cards are a relatively easy and inexpensive way to reconnect with people both near and far, see how big the kids are getting, and find out who finally broke down and got a family pet.

But as a member of an award-winning Cincinnati-based marketing agency and someone who spends a great deal of time writing and editing, it’s also the perfect time for me to cringe (just a bit – I’m really not mean-spirited) when I spy holiday cards that are innocently, yet incorrectly addressed. I’m sure the same goes for you math wizards out there who would likely cringe when you spot me trying to figure out how much 20 percent off any given item is or calculate a tip because, as a former server, I am paranoid about not leaving the right amount. But, I digress.

So, before you merrily – but incorrectly ­­- print 200 cards signed “Love, The Smith’s,” let me generously share a quick reference guide for addressing your envelopes this year (and every year going forward):

  • Sincerely, The Esterle’s- Nope. Don’t do this. This is incorrect as an apostrophe indicates possession, NOT plural. The only way this would be correct is if a noun followed the possessive, as in “Sincerely, The Esterle’s dog.”
  • Sincerely, The Esterles- This is correct J! There are more than one of us named Esterle in our family, so this should be plural.
  • Sincerely, The Esterle Family- Also correct and foolproof, so when in doubt, especially if you are addressing envelopes for a family whose last name ends in a pesky “S” or, worse yet, “ES”, I recommend making it easy on yourself and simply going with “The Thomas Family.”
  • If you’re blessed with a trickier surname (such as one that ends in “s”), then see below for the link I provide to a site that delves into answers to that conundrum.

And speaking of holiday shopping, same goes for store names like Nordstrom, Kroger and Sam’s Club. Example:

  • Nordstrom’s shoe department is legendary.
  • There are more than 115 Nordstroms in the U.S. (and one in Canada)!

For a more detailed explanation and easy-to-follow grammatical chart, you can also visit this witty site.

Happy Holidays (note: no apostrophe), all!