Let’s Talk About Apostrophe’s

If the title of this post makes you cringe, then you likely do not need to read any further.

If you see nothing wrong with the title of this post, then please continue reading.

I see apostrophes being used incorrectly on a daily basis — in friendly e-mails, on blog posts and even in “professional” publications. The thing is, once I see an apostrophe used incorrectly in a news article or a professional publication, it’s difficult for me to take the writer seriously. I realize that the person may, in fact, be the most brilliant mind ever to grace the earth, but I get hung up on those little apostrophes.

Please, if you’re using the English language to communicate in writing, make an effort to use the apostrophe as it should be used — to show omission or possession.

Omission: leaving out one or more letters when combining words.

Correct uses of omission: can’t, shouldn’t, won’t, wouldn’t, it’s

Possession: showing ownership.

Correct uses of possession: I went to my mom’s house. That is Johnny’s toy.

Please, please do not use an apostrophe to make a word plural. You’re really just making more work for yourself.

Incorrect uses of an apostrophe: Life is all about choice’s. I would like two cookie’s, please. There are five dog’s in the house.

If you want to make a word plural, simply add an “s” in most cases.

Of course, in the English language, there are always exceptions to the rules. And, there are additional guidelines for using apostrophes with plural nouns.

Here are some Web sites that explain the apostrophe in more detail:

The Oatmeal — This site makes apostrophes especially fun. I think a graphic designer and a writer got together and made the relationship work.

Write 101

Grammar Book

Oh, and the correct title of this post should be “Let’s Talk About Apostrophes.”

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