The plural of _'s_

Hello good people of the SDMBs,

How would someone write: “The McDonald’s (plural) of the world…” McDonald’s, here, representing
a term with a specific meaning. So far I’ve received various replies (McDonalds, McDonalds’, McDonald’s’, and McDonald’ses) to my query.

I didn’t see Tipi’s thread but now I’ve posted my question in both. It’s a little different and was not specifically answered in Tipi’s thread. So please reply here or there. Thanks.

I think the truly careful grammatical answer is that you don’t form a plural of a possessive. Instead you form the plural of the object being possessed – in this case, McDonald’s restaurants. Similarly with book titles – it you have a stack of books, all titled “The Grapes of Wrath” you don’t have a bunch of Grapes’s of Wrath or Grapes of Wrath’s. You have a number of copies of The Grapes of Wrath.

Of course, we aren’t always careful, especially in spoken language, in which case the question isn’t how to spell it but how to say it – how many zs do you say – McDonaldz or McDonaldzez. But if you’re writing something you care enough about to get a rather arcane point of spelling correct, you might as well go all the way and complete the possesive.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

You form the plural first, then the possessive. McDonalds is the plural, add the apostrophe to show possession: McDonalds’.

Someone should point out the posessive apostrophe to the good people at Popeyes Chicken.
I always read it as “Pope yes.”

I was taught the posessive should be


The singular is MacDonald, right? The plural therefore is MacDonalds. Just like any other plural - dog - dogs, cat - cats. The name is MacDonald (no s) - the possessive would be MacDonald’s. Skullar’s dog, Skullar’s cat.

P. S. I just re-read your topic - the plural of 's??? You don’t make a plural out of 's. Apostrophe s is the possessive form - McDonald’s hamburgers.

Good thing there was only one S.S. Essess!

This question has still not been answered.

If the singular were McDonald it would be easy. For instance if we were talking about a family of people named McDonald we could call the place they live, the McDonalds’ house.

However that is not the case.

One restaurant is called McDonald’s.

How would you denote two restaurants.

or simply McDonald’s and let the context denote that it is a plural? (my choice)

Just go to the Burger Kings

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Thanks to all who replied.

Even though someone did answer the question, I’d like to expand it a little further.

Is it possible in English to coin a term in the plural? If we define “McDonald’s” as a company that sets the standard in their particular industry, then can we use it in a sentence as such: “These McDonalds/McDonald’ses are the driving force behind the economy.” (No snickering. I didn’t want to offend anyone who likes McDonald’s) And how would it be spelled? Is English a vernacular enough language?

McDonald’s restaurants do not use the posessive apostrophe in their signage, just like Popeyes doesn’t. Hence the plural is just plain McDonalds. The plural posessive is McDonalds’.

That should read: Is it possible to coin a term in the possessive and then use it in the plural? And How would it be spelled?

About my preoccupation with this subject: Can anyone say geek.