There are pros and cons to this post.
- I am not a grammar expert. I have many downfalls including a prolific use of run-on sentences, dangling participles, etc.
- I risk sounding...bossy? Nagging? Arrogant? Condescending? Ungrateful? After all, if someone wants to acknowledge us in a group, I should graciously appreciate it, not point out their error.
- If I can be a conduit to help you speak and write properly, I am honored.
There is an awkwardness in the air around us. I have noticed it since I acquired this name almost 33 years ago. This week was only two days old and there had already been three infractions in my presence. Think this is not a problem?
From the pulpit:
We'd like to thank the Browns, the Kennedys, and the Marx for....
(Names changed to protect the innocent)
Who is "the Marx?" Why were the Browns and Kennedys plural, but our name was left hanging weirdly singular out there? I wonder if they hear what is coming out of their mouths? Doesn't that sentence sound odd to you when you speak it? Why doesn't your brain kick in and fill in the blank correctly, "the Browns, the Kennedys, and the Marxes?"
Later in the same 3-hour block of time: "If you have any questions, ask the Marx."
I have seen this pop up when people write lists of names. As you read down the list it could look something like:
The Brown Family
The Jones Family
Again, why is our surname singular in a sea of plurals or families?
I really try to not take it personal, but it's hard not to take it personal when it is my name. To set the record straight, here is the rule for making a proper noun ending in x plural:
It would be spoken or written as such:
"If you have any questions, ask the Marxes."
"The party is at the Marxes."
"We would like to thank the Marxes."
"Are all of the Marxes related?" (yes.)
If I was ordering a welcome mat for my front door, it would say:
Welcome to the Marxes
Some might prefer to have it say Welcome to the Marx's. That would be correct possessive form. This would give the implied meaning of "Welcome to the Marx's home" but on my welcome mats, I prefer to let you know that there are many Marxes living in this home, and we all welcome you to join us. Wording in this instance would be personal preference, but both would be correct use of plural or possessive form.
To speak the possessive form of Marx it sounds like the plural, but to write the possessive form, you simply add an apostrophe s. Examples:
The Marx's boat. The Marx's car. The Marx's hydraulic jack. The Marx's time. Whatever the item might be.
And finally the plural possessive form: Marxes'
I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but if you ever need to mention something that belongs to a collective group of Marx family members, there you have it.
I am Kim Marx
Married to Ron Marx
We form Ron & Kim Marx
Together we are referred to as the Marxes