Below you can see 63 of a Smart Card security target. (Here)

enter image description here

The question is : "When I need to add an 's to the first noun and when I don't?"

I mean which one of the below expressions is true?

  • JCVM's information flow control SFP
  • JCVM information flow control SFP

What is the meaning of it?

  • flow-control-SFP of information of JCVM Or
  • information-flow-conftol-SFP of JCVM

Note that:

SFP= Security Functions Policies

JCVM= Java Card Virtual Machines

  • If you can, please post text, not image.
    – TimR
    Jan 21, 2015 at 23:59

5 Answers 5


SFP= Security Functions Policies
JCVM= Java Card Virtual Machine(s)

"JVCM information flow control SFP"

This is very terse documentation. Expanded, it would read:

The Security Function Policies that govern the flow of information in|through the Java Card Virtual Machine.

"JVCM information flow control" is an adjectival phrase modifying SFP, and within that phrase, "JVCM" is used adjectivally to modify "information flow control", and within that phrase, "information" is an adjective modifying "flow control", and within that phrase, "flow" is an adjective modifying "control".



I would guess that your exhibit text is trying to say that SFP is a type of flow control for JCVM, which is enforced by TSF, and is enforced on the five last-listed items.

I can't make sense of any of your suggested "expressions" or meanings; they are not written grammatically.


I cannot answer your question 'what is the meaning of it' when I am not entrenched in the material. Adding an apostrophe is done to indicate possession. If the initialism is not possessive, you do not add it, period. It is the same for other words.

As a non-native English reader of technical texts with not enough prior knowledge on the specific subject, I would accept both.


Let me provide an example showing the difference:

Vauxhall cars have a really good reputation, I will buy one of them.

I'm talking about the cars, so I'm referring to Vauxhall as a brand name.

Vauxhall's cars have a really bad reputation, I won't buy from them.

I'm talking about the company, so I'm using the apostrophe to refer to Vauxhall as a specific organisation.


I'd not use an apostrophe in a technical document such as this appears to be, possibly because the flow control applies to the JVCM rather than being in the possession of the JVCM. It would read awkwardly if there were an apostrophe.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .