I'm amazed more people don't use this technique and you hardly ever hear about it. I even heard a James Taylor record where it wasn't used! It drives me crazy when I'm listening to a song and there are a bunch of vocals stacked and there is a word at the end of a phrase that ends with an "s" but every body cuts it off at a slightly different time. The listener hears this horrible flamming of esses. (Even if everybody cuts off at exactly the same time the esses start to build up way too much.) It doesn't have to be that way! Let the lead vocal do the "s" and the rest of the vocals take the "s" off the word. Simple! Same for any word that has a consonant like a "t" or a "k" etc. Have the backing vocals soften the attack or release. Individually they may sound odd but together they will sound much better.
Some time ago, I got into building guitar effect pedals. It's a great hobby and I've actually used a lot of the boxes I've built. For over two years I've been looking for the Stompbox Cookbook at a reasonable price. It went out of print a while back and shows up occasionally on Amazon or Ebay for 2 or 3 or $400. After using Google book search I got a list of libraries that had the book in stock and participated in the interlibrary loan program. One week later I was able to pick the book up for free at my local library! I have it for a couple weeks and the only drawback is copying the book is illegal. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.