Sending out holiday cards? Here’s how to properly pluralize your last name.
Hallmark corporation estimates that 1.3 billion holiday cards are sent every year, and with 2020 being the year of the pandemic and everything else that happened this year, the urge to spread cheer may be even greater.
Whether it’s through the mail or social media posts, cards help us stay connected despite the distance. Friends and family undoubtedly enjoy seeing pictures of families, pets, kids with festive holiday messages, but one pitfall can detract from that perfect sentiment: The pluralized last name.
Each year well-intentioned cards and posts are marred by grammatically incorrect surnames. So here are a few tips to help avoid this embarrassing blunder.
No apostrophes. Ever.
That little curved mark at the top is a place holder, and when attached to a name indicates possession.
“The Smith’s car” or “The Johnson’s gifts” are examples of when to use an apostrophe. When pluralizing your last name in a greeting -- for example, “Happy Holidays from the Smiths” -- you are not possessing anything and therefore do not need to add an apostrophe.
Most families can just add an “s”
For most people, simply adding an “s” to the end of their last name is enough. In fact, if your last name ends with anything other than the letters “s, ch, sh, x, or z,” just go ahead and an a single “s.”
About those exceptions
Last names like Sussex or Chavez get a little more complicated, but not much. If your last name ends with “s, ch, sh, x, or z” add an “es” to the end of it.
That means “Merry Christmas from the Sussexes” or “The Chavezes send warm wishes.”
As you get ready to send out those holiday greetings keep these simple rules in mind or don’t pluralize at all. It is ok to say, “from our family to yours.”