Writing Hint #5 Use apostrophes correctly

My daughters an English teacher in one of our state high school’s.

She emphatically claim’s to be an “apostrophe nazi.”

She goes around the staff room, office and staff office’s correcting the misuse of apostrophe’s in other people’s poster’s, notices and anything pinned up on the notice boards.

I’m thinking of never going shopping with her again – just in case she decides to go around correcting poster’s and advertising hoardings. That would be most embarrassing.

I recently came across this following hint regarding the use of apostrophes:

Use the possessive apostrophe in it’s place and omit it when its not needed.

One cant be too careful.

I hope my daughter never read’s this or she might find a few mistakes. At least she cant access this blog in order to correct it’s mistakes.

Oh dear – Ive just realised that she could leave comments about this post. Ooops.

I invite you to comment on the above text.

Can you find all the errors?

I think I have made 14 errors. But… I could be wrong!

 

12 Responses to “Writing Hint #5 Use apostrophes correctly”

  1. Sim' says:

    You forgot that your son has the same genes.

    I also apostrophise my nickname (Sim’), so I’m quite familiar with the apostrophically challenged.

    Let’s see:

    > My daughters an English teacher in one of our state high school’s.

    My daughter’s an English teacher in one of our state high schools. (2 errors)

    > She emphatically claim’s to be an ‘apostrophe nazi.’

    She emphatically claims to be an ‘apostrophe nazi.’ (1 error)

    > She goes around the staff room, office and staff office’s correcting the misuse of apostrophe’s in other peoples poster’s, notices and anything pinned up on the notice boards.

    She goes around the staff room, office and staff offices correcting the misuse of apostrophes in other people’s posters, notices and anything pinned up on the notice boards. (3 errors)

    > I’m thinking of never going shopping with her again – just in case she decides to go around correcting poster’s and advertising hoardings. That would be most embarrassing.

    I’m thinking of never going shopping with her again – just in case she decides to go around correcting posters and advertising hoardings. That would be most embarrassing. (1 error)

    > I recently came across this following hint regarding the use of apostrophes:

    > Use the possessive apostrophe in it’s place and omit it when its not needed.

    Use the possessive apostrophe in its place and omit it when it’s not needed. (2 errors)

    > One cant be too careful.

    One can’t be too careful. (1 error)

    > I hope my daughter never read’s this or she might find a few mistakes. At least she cant access this blog in order to correct it’s mistakes.

    I hope my daughter never reads this or she might find a few mistakes. At least she can’t access this blog in order to correct its mistakes. (3 errors)

    > Oh dear – Ive just realised that she could leave comments about this post. Ooops.

    Oh dear – I’ve just realised that she could leave comments about this post. Ooops. (1 error)

    … I count 14 errors too.

  2. Trevor says:

    Well done Simon. (As your father I reserve the right to call you by your full name.)

    I guess that we are all cursed with the same desire to correct the errors of others. I guess that’s the teacher coming out in me, and Rose. What’s your excuse?

    Oh, I see, the same genes. Mmmm – perhaps your (sic) right. Have you noticed how many writers – especially boggers – confuse “your” and “you’re”? That really irks me.

  3. Rose says:

    Aaaargh! You’re both doing my head in… Too many errors, too many errors…

    **curls up in corner in foetal position, clutching red biro and moaning quietly “apostrophes show possession and contraction, not b****y plurals…”**

    PS If I had a red pen with me last Saturday, I would have corrected a sign in the ladies’ loos downstairs in Myer, Rundle Mall, Adelaide. Thankfully someone had already attempted the correction with a biro… Damn laminating! Glad to see I am not the only apostrophe nazi round here!

  4. Trevor says:

    Sorry about messing with your head Rose. I know you’ve been a little stressed out recently, but you can take it. Anyone who deals with teenage male students on a daily basis must have what it takes.

    Hey – all we need now is to get your mother commenting on this post.

    The family that blogs together…

  5. Chris Howard says:

    Heheh. Sorry, Rose, but there are exceptions when apostrophes do show plurals – as I’m sure you’d know.

    For other folks, there are some do’s and don’ts about the p’s and q’s of apostrophe usage you should familiarise yourselves with. 🙂

  6. Corinne says:

    My dear child, a red biro??? Don’t you know that you will destroy a person’s sense of worth if you dare to correct with a red biro, or any colour biro for that matter? Indeed correcting anything these days is politically incorrect. Why else is there such ignorance flaunted in your face constantly? No one ever corrected the grammar of the little dears once apostrophes were supposedly taught!

  7. Trevor says:

    There we go – the whole family has commented on this post.

    That wasn’t so hard was it?

    Er… Chris … how come you muscled in on a family discussion? Welcome to the continuing saga.

    Stay tuned for more controversial postings.

  8. Chris Howard says:

    heheh. Guess I’m just a freeloader. 🙂

    (Now there’s an interesting apostrophe question. Do you place an apostrophe when a whole word is left out? 🙂 )

  9. Trevor says:

    Mmmmm…. well… er… nothing has trained me for a question like that. Let’s see. Theoretically, I guess one should, but it would look messy and just plain weird. I’ve never seen it applied in this way in print.

    Am I on the same page as you? Let’s take the example you have used in the last comment. “Guess I’m just a freeloader.” You have obviously left out the word “I” at the beginning of the sentence, mirroring what we say in direct speech. When we speak we are far less than formal in our patterns of speech and the use of grammar. Likewise, when we write informally, as in a casual letter or in a blog, we often lapse into a less than formal use of the language.

    Whatever… it does raise an interesting point.

    One of the more bizarre and intriguing uses of an apostrophe is my son Simon’s online signature. He usually signs his name Sim’ (rhymes with rhyme) (see comment 1. above). Perhaps I should start calling myself Trev’ (rhymes with Rev.)

  10. Sim' says:

    Not bizarre … if you dropping a letter such as in don’t or can’t or ’tis, then why not Sim’ – a contraction of Simon ?

    Anyway, is there actually a problem with writing informally ? Especially if you are writing in a casual sense (like in a blog) and not in a book.

  11. Trevor says:

    When I used the word ‘bizarre’ I meant it in the sense of it being unusual in abbreviating names. We do it with many words, as you rightly point out. But names? How many other names are abbreviated like this? I can’t think of any, which is good, because it makes you stand out in the crowd – exactly the point Darren Rowse made in a post of his this morning.

    As for informality when writing in a blog, I tend to agree that it isn’t a problem. On the other hand, I feel that too many blogs (the ranting personal angst type) throw out so many writing conventions that they almost become unreadable. Most of them aren’t worth any space on the net, let alone the time to try to read them. They are the dinosaurs of the net, destined to be unread, unloved and extinct.

  12. […] Use apostrophes correctly – an amusing article with many comments from my family. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *