What is the correct way to punctuate the name of the holiday that is coming up soon.
Is it President’s Day, President’s Day or Presidents Day?
Which one is correct?
Actually, none of them are correct for the nation as a whole.
According to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, the holiday is still officially Washington’s Birthday.
Some states have passed additional legislation to change Washington’s Birthday as Presidents’ Day. The weekend itself is also often known as Presidents’ Day Weekend (apostrophe placement varies).
While watching TV this week I have seen commercials using all three variations.
For someone who takes grammar seriously, this weekend can be grating on the nerves as they see the apostrophe moving all over the place.
Of course, Washington’s Birthday is an easy one to figure out and the apostrophe is not often misplaced. The Birthday belongs to Washington and therefore we use the possessive apostrophe between the n and the s.
If the day was only honoring President Washington, we should use President’s Day.
If we mean that the day honors both President Washington and President Lincoln we could use Presidents’ Day as the day belongs to both of them.
However, since Presidents is used as an attributive noun to modify the noun Day, Presidents Day can also be used. In recent years the use of attributive nouns has been increasing and several style manuals now give Presidents Day as the preferred style when used in this sense. It is also more inclusive as this day is often used to honor all presidents.
So, what day is the holiday?
For me, as I live in California, it is Washington’s Birthday.
I looked through several California Government websites and saw it used different ways. I even saw one website use Presidents’ Day with a footnote referring to Section 6103(a) of the US Code and saying they use the name of the Holiday designated in the law. What is interesting is that Section 6103(a) uses Washington’s Birthday :-).
Which do you think is the correct name to use for the Monday holiday and also for the weekend?