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MA/MSc etc

Which does one earn?

Master's Degree
Masters Degree


Jan. 7th, 2013 05:48 am (UTC)
It really depends, I suppose, on whether it is seen as personal i.e. becoming a master, in which case it is a Master's Degree, or joining a group of/called Masters, in which case it could be either a Masters' Degree (if the degree is regarded as being owned or possessed by the group called 'Masters') or a Masters Degree if it is a simple label.

Apologies for adding a third possibility.
Jan. 7th, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
Yes, rightly or otherwise I visualize it as a matter of accession to a club of superbeings - masters of the universe (or science, arts, etc.).
Jan. 7th, 2013 09:57 am (UTC)
I think I've usually seen it without the apostrophe, so your suggestion that "Masters" is being regarded as a label makes sense.

I usually ponder it for a moment, then give up and write MA, MSc or MEd. Though that leads to a mental debate about whether to use fullstops in the abbreviation or not. :)
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:13 am (UTC)
I've never been able to figure out the rules for whether you use a period in initials and abbreviations (and there is an abbreviation in MSc, for instance) or not. This hit me full tilt recently when reading some stories (both pro and fan) where the author put a period at the end of Mr, Mrs and Miss (Mr. Mrs. Miss.) which throws me completely, but I would be shocked to see M.(for Monsieur) without it. Does it come down to 'use for pure initials' which would make M.A. right but M.Sc. wrong? Are Mr. and Mrs. wrong because they both end with the last letter of the abbreviated word? (Mister and Missus/Mistress.) Or do you just throw up your hands in despair and consult the style book of whatever publication you happen to be writing for?