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Arkansans Quibble Over the Possessive 'S'

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Rep. Steve Harrelson, a Democrat in the Arkansas legislature, yesterday introduced a resolution to declare the correct way to write the possessive form of the state's name. That would be, he says, "Arkansas's."

Harrelson says it all started with historian Parker Westbrook, a family friend.

"It's that sibilant letter, that sibilant 's' that really fires him up," Harrelson says. "He is adamant that it must have an apostrophe and an 's' on the other side of the apostrophe."

Not everyone agrees, however, including the largest newspaper in Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The daily stands by the Associated Press stylebook, which mandates that the state's possessive form is Arkansas'

Melissa Block talks with Rep. Harrelson.



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