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The Misused Possessive Apostrophe

1133 of 1160 nominations


The Misused Possessive Apostrophe

Is this an icon?


The Misused Possessive Apostrophe

As a nation we seem addicted to sprinkling these cute little critter’s around our prose. All across the country, everything from greengrocers’ signs to those helpful door-back messages in ladies loo’s bears witness to our fondness for the possessive apostrophe. Not only do we love to use (and mis-use) it, we also love to correct each others usage. Punctuation mistakes such as: “1000’s of CD’s for sale” have turned us into a nation of graffiti artists, armed with marker pens and biro’s, amending miscarriages’ of punctuation wherever we find them. Its strange, really, how much trouble apostrophe’s cause. The rule is, we use it for possessive noun’s if it has an ‘s’ after it. If the noun is a 'plural' already ending with an ‘s’ the apostrophe come’s after the ‘s’. Its also used to replace missing letters, like dont for ‘do not’. The wor’st of problem’s come’s with its and its, one of which is p’ossessive and the other is it’s.

[PS If you find the above paragraph stressful, do feel free to print this page out and get to work on it with your red pen. It will make you feel better.]


Your comments

Because of its ubiquity

andy king

No, no and thrice no. This is a national disgrace, not an icon.

where else in the world will you see the greengrocer's apostrophe, for potatoe's and lettuce's

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye