Using the apostrophe
If anything gets my family riled up, it has to be the misuse of the humble apostrophe.
My daughter, an English teacher, calls herself “The Apostrophe Nazi”. She delights in correcting errors wherever and whenever. My son even uses an apostrophe to abbreviate his name – Simon has become Sim’. It also annoys me when I see this poorly understood form of punctuation abused.
Imagine my horror, then, in reading this sentence in an email from a bookshop recently:
“Xxxx Booksellers would like to thank its’ regular and new clients for their support.”
That is a shocker!
I should be fair though; the humble apostrophe is probably the most misunderstood and misused form of punctuation in our language. Furthermore, the meaning of the sentence is still quite clear, so I’ll just let it rest. I make mistakes too – plenty of them.
- Use apostrophes correctly – an amusing article with many comments from my family.
- Writing hints – a list of writing hints from my archives.
- Apostrophes – the Wikipedia article on how to use them correctly.