Where does the apostrophe go?

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Fanriffic | 22:42 Tue 07th Nov 2006 | Word Origins
12 Answers
Which is correct?

Season's Greetings
Seasons' Greetings

I was just wondering because I've seen both versions in the card shops on various Christmas cards.


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The first one is correct. The first one is the greetings of one season and the second is the greetings of more than one season!

The dog's bones (bones of one dog)

The dogs' bones(bones of more than one dog)

Both can be correct. Are you giving greetings for one season (e.g. Christmas) or many seasons (e.g. Christmas, New Year, Mid-Winter solstice, etc.).
Question Author
Thanks for your answers folks.
You learn something new everyday on this site.
I would have thought the second one was correct as it takes in Thanksgiving, Christmas and also New Year which would be several seasons? and also I always thought that an apostrophe was in place of the word "s" making Season's Greetings - Season is Greeting so again I would have thought the second one?

However in my personal opinion I think the first one looks nicer - Season's Greetings!

When I sign my cards tho I sign them Seasons Greetings with no apostrophe, keep it simple!
Question Author
Keep it simple indeed!

The english language can be confusing at the best of times.

Thanks one and all and Happy Holidays when it comes round - LOL. No further replies necessary.
The apostrophe goes before the "s" when you want to signify a single owner and after the "s" when there is more than one owner (see the dog's bones example above). Note that the rule does not apply when a plural does not end in "s", e.g. "the child's coat" "the children's coats".
Sorry, but this question, �Which is correct, Season's Greetings or Seasons' Greetings�, is one pedant�s (or many pedants�) dream. So please, don't be running off with the toys just yet . . .

As sophieb so correctly pointed out, this part of the year, encompassing Christmas, (or X-mas if you prefer), New Years�, Winter Solstice and possibly inclusive of Thanksgiving, is collectively one season. Therefore, �Season�s Greetings� is grammatically correct . . . but either way, Ill� no't be' refusin'g any' gift's you' sen'd t'his 'way!
Question Author
Thank you for the additional answers.
I hate to make things worse but technically both are incorrect as the apostrophe is used to replace a dropped letter as in "didn't" and "that's" where the apostrophe replaces the "o" in "did not" and the "i" in "that is". So personally I think the correct phrase should be
Seasons Greetings
as what is actually being said it
Greeting to you for the season (meaning the season of winter)
But on the other hand mibn2cweus does make a very valid point :�)
Although 's can be easily confused with 's in words like that's (that is), in the possessive phrase 'season's greetings' it is a relic of the days when English had a case system (as many other languages still do), and is a genitive or possessive inflection (originally es and the apostrophe shows the absence of the e). It operates precisely as in sophieb's answer (which is the least confusing answer here!) above. There's a good article here:
im confused by your answer Offitt - can you elaborate?
Poor Lynne Truss!
Best: read her book, learn, and lament at declining educational standards.

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