This is the title of a short story I'm writing:

The Washing Machine Enigma

But I was wondering if I should call it

The Washing Machine's Enigma

Do both mean the same? Which one follows more proper English?

  • You should probably add a hyphen in the first one: The Washing-Machine Enigma.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 19:34
  • If you are writing Big Bang Theory fanfic, definitely the first choice is better.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 20:07
  • @MετάEd Ha, why a Big Bang Theory fanfic?
    – wyc
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 20:28
  • @Cerberus Unless of course what's involved is the extraordinary machine invented by Turing's colleague Washing, which contributed so critically to breaking the Enigma code. Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 23:56
  • @StoneyB: Hmm my irony detector has a a day off today, and I lack any knowledge about Turing's colleagues...but then I'd call it Washing's Machine Enigma, if Machine Enigma means anything (it can't be *Washing's Machine called Enigma, after all). I read it as simple an enigma concerning one or more washing machines.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


The Washing Machine Enigma is an enigma which somehow involves a washing machine.

The Washing Machine's Enigma would be an enigma which confronts or baffles a particular washing machine. That strikes me as unlikely -- unless of course the Washing Machine is a technical consortium which carries out money laundering for organized crime and terrorism.

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