The boss’ boss, or the boss’s boss? The bosses’ boss, or the bosses’s boss? Ah, I’m confused.
Back in the days when I first learnt it (12-13 years ago?), I was taught to always drop the S after an apostrophe whenever I made a noun ending in S possessive. So, from what I learnt, the boss’s boss and the bosses’s boss are not correct. I continued to do the supposedly right way for the next 12-3 years, obviously, correcting people who added the supposedly extra S after a noun ending in S whenever possible; until today. Somehow, I had doubts.
I went to my trusty 14-year-old Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (the older the dictionary the better, no?), and it told me that when the noun ending in S is singular, both ’ and ’s are acceptable. But when the noun is a plural ending in S, you only use the apostrophe without the S. Right, so the boss’ boss, the boss’s boss, and the bosses’ boss are all correct.
Then, I came across a few websites, that all seemed to suggest, rather confidently, that you always use ‘s when the noun is singular, and drop the S for possessive plurals ending in S. One even stated that the boss’ boss (converted to the example of my case) is incorrect.
Grrreat. Now which one should I stick to?