“I also felt an urgent need to be able to do more to directly impact her and others’ lives during…”
Is the bold part grammatically correct? Should it be “her and others’ life”? Do I need to break it up and say “her life and the lives of others”?
I know Fowler was writing a hundred years ago but, as there are still no generally-agreed rules about two possessives in a row, maybe his words are still helpful.
From The King’s English:
“I am not sure yours and my efforts would suffice separately; but
yours and mine together cannot possibly fail.”
The first yours is quite wrong; it should be your.
“You altered the succession to theirs, as well as to your own crown.” — Burke.
We might possibly tolerate to their as well as to your own; or we might write to their crown as well as to your own.
From A Dictionary of Modern English Usage:
A mistake is often made when two or more possessives are to be
referred to a single noun that follows. The correct forms are: your
and our and his efforts (not yours and ours); either my or your
informant must have lied (not mine); her and his mutual
dislike (not hers).
There is no doubt a natural temptation to
substitute the wrong word; the simple possessive seems to pine at
separation from its property. The true remedy is a change of order:
your efforts and ours and his; my informant or yours; our help without yours. It is not always available, however; her and his
mutual dislike must be left as it is.