Apostrophe Help
June 7, 2012 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Apostrophe help: System's' Anlaysis. Wiki does not have one, and neither does this page. Talk page says it should, but it shouldn't. Brethower (big name in the field) doesn't use one. I'm writing a resume for employers who maybe-do, maybe-don't have familiarity with the field. Should I say "System's Analysis," "Systems' Analysis," or "Systems Analysis?"
posted by rebent to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Systems Analysis.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:19 AM on June 7, 2012 [9 favorites]

It's the Analysis of Systems, so its Systems Analysis.

It could get an apostrophe if it was the Analysis that one System produced (possessive), but never that weirdo 's' lash-up.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:20 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd agree with wenestvedt. You could conceivably discuss the System Analyst's Analysis, but not the System's Analysis.
posted by pipeski at 7:26 AM on June 7, 2012

Also, your uncertainty appears to stem from a single comment on Wikipedia, which is then rebutted by someone who also misses the point. It's generally good practice to ignore random dudes on the Internet making odd pronouncements about apostrophes.
posted by pipeski at 7:29 AM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]

posted by anadem at 7:29 AM on June 7, 2012

Systems Analysis. I think the reasoning on the Talk page is crazy.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 7:30 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

If the System were doing the analyzing, then you could say System's Analysis. But since you are analyzing systems, it's Systems Analysis.
posted by emelenjr at 7:33 AM on June 7, 2012

Systems Analysis: the analysis of a system.

System's Analysis: the analysis by a system.

Systems' Analysis: the analysis by the systems.

All are correct; each means something different. Only the first is a real thing, as far as I'm aware, but if the "credit analysis system" generated a report, you might title a discussion of the output as "system's analysis" or something. It's just context.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]

Thanks everyone!
posted by rebent at 7:43 AM on June 7, 2012

Systems analysis.
Like chemical analysis (not chemical's) and weather report (not weather's).
Yes, that Talk Page is a mess.
posted by LonnieK at 8:02 AM on June 7, 2012

Are you a Systems Analyst? That is how we typically see it on resumes. You analyze multiple systems so the word is plural and not not possessive.

If you are stuck on analysis, it would by a System Analysis.
posted by joshfeingold at 6:07 PM on June 7, 2012

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