Is it “honor’s calculus” or “honors calculus”?

I see both usage, with “honors calculus” much more common. This is in reference to courses and programs in high school and universities with a higher level of requirements than the regular counterpart.

My Microsoft Word software does not like “honors”, it prefers “honor’s” in above context. What is the correct usage and why?

On Word if I type “Student’s project was part of an honors calculus course” the word “honors” gets double blue underlining which implies questionable grammar.


The typical spelling of honors in this context has no apostrophe: honors course (or honours course, if you use the spelling honour with a U).

This is an example of a compound or attributive noun construction where, unusually, the first element has the form of a plural noun. The Oxford English Dictionary gives examples dating back to 1860 of the use of hono(u)rs in this context; none of the examples uses an apostrophe.

Word’s grammar checker may be incorrectly flagging this construction because of the rarity of compound/attributive noun constructions with plural first elements. Although unusual, such constructions are not ungrammatical. You can see some other examples in the answers to When are attributive nouns plural? and Singular/plural Nouns as Adjectives; the question Plural nouns in nominal compounds is also relevant.

Source : Link , Question Author : Maesumi , Answer Author : herisson

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