I’m wondering if the preference is no longer stated because it was found to be rather ridiculous. “NASA’s plan to explore Venus was implemented in 2005” sounds natural and to my mind wouldn’t seem at all informal or improper, whereas “The NASA plan to…” sounds odd, and arguably could have a slightly different connotation.
Variation on this theme: if the initial mention is spelled out and defined as an acronym/initialism in parentheses, like so:
“The Department of Energy (DOE) has chosen…”
How does one make it possessive?
“The Department of Energy’s (DOE) leadership has chosen…”
“The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) leadership has chosen…”
To me, 2) sounds more euphonious, and obeys parallel structure. But it is a bit odd that following uses of the acronym will be just “DOE” and the initial definition is “DOE’s.”
Surprisingly, the Chicago Manual of Style Online apparently gets this very question so frequently that they won’t directly answer it:
Yeah, I know it should be re-written, but if I can’t convince the author to re-write, and I have to use a possessive original to define an acronym/initialism, I wish the Chicago Manual of Style Online would weigh in on one side or the other.
I’d welcome the Teeming Millions’s (TM’s)…uh, ™…uh…dammit…advice.
“DVD’s” isn’t possessive at all. It’s a plural. There was a [del]recent[/del] thread debating the use of the apostrophe in that case. Even among those advocating the use of apostrophe, there were various competing reasons WHY it should be used.
I would like to know who invented that rule and when. And why. Because in Old English and Middle English any noun could take the genitive case/possessive form, not just people’s. cite And what about the non-person possessive pronoun its? Doesn’t that violate the alleged rule? Special pleading for its to remain in the language?
E.g. OE on oðre healfe þæs mores ‘on the other side of the moor’ þæs landes sceawunge ‘the observation of the land’
ME Worldes blysse
The use of the of-possessive was an innovation in Middle English paralleling the French possessive with de. But Middle English didn’t have a rule that only people could have the -es possessive—did they?
Oh—Is that rule the reason why people started omitting the possessive from phrases like “two weeks’ notice,” forcing Lynne Truss to roam all over London with a magic marker filling in the missing apostrophes?