The below paragraph comes from the article “Nein zur Justizreform. Dudas Veto erschüttert Polen” in Der Spiegel:

Selbstkritik sucht man bei den Nationalkonservativen dagegen vergebens. Dabei wäre diese nicht nur wegen der innergesellschaftlichen Spannungen angebracht, die die Justizreform noch mehr verschärft hat, sondern auch wegen des Dilettantismus' der Regierung. Wie am Wochenende bekannt wurde, unterschied sich die Gesetzesvorlage, über die am Freitag der Senat abstimmte, in einigen Punkten von der, die vom Parlament verabschiedet wurde.

As you can see above, there is an apostrophe after Dilettantismus. As far as I know, an apostrophe should only be added to names and family names that end in s or z (and, perhaps, after a few other letters) and are in the genitive case. But Dilettantismus is not a name.

So, is this a mistake or an exception of some sort?

  • 2
    That apostrophe is certainly creative, but still wrong.
    – tofro
    Jul 24, 2017 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


This is a mistake, and even a doubled one.

  1. As you correctly state, the apostrophe at the end of a genitive word is only used with proper names that end on 's'-sounds – and Dilettantismus is not a proper name.
  2. Even if it was a proper name we would not use the apostrophe here, because the genitive is clear from the article der. E.g. we write Aristoteles' Werke, but die Werke des Aristoteles. (Source)

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