Posted by: cordy74 | March 16, 2009

An Apostrophe’s Rules / Apostrophes RULE!!

I do not understand why it is so difficult for people to grasp the correct usage of the apostrophe. You know what an apostrophe is, right? An apostrophe is the thing that looks like a comma jumped into the air. It is used to convey possessiveness or to bring two words together in a contraction.

What seems to have most people bamboozled is when to use the apostrophe to make a word possessive and when to leave it off to make the word plural. I know I am not perfect but COME ON, PEOPLE!! This is basic English language usage! Typically, a word that is plural does not have an apostrophe. A word that is possessive does. Unless you have a plural word that is supposed to be used in a possessive manner. Then you end the word with an “s” and add an apostrophe. Or if you are using the word “its” or “it’s” in a sentence. Then the one without the apostrophe is possessive and the one with the apostrophe is a contraction. Or let’s say you have a proper name that ends in an “s”, then you need to add an apostrophe after the “s” and another “s” after the apostrophe…

Okay, I’ll admit this is a little more complicated than I first thought but there are rules.

When you think about it using an apostrophe is sort of like a guy using a g-string: there is obviously a right way and a wrong way to wear it. The g-string should only be used one direction, with the skinny part in the back and the banana hammock in the front. Otherwise you still end up with the wider part riding up in back and you’re going to have to do something with that string in the front. And just what would that be? Let it ride to one side or the other? Wrap it around the twig and berries a couple of times? Whichever way you do it the g-string isn’t going to fit right  and it’s going to chafe unless you put it on the right direction. That apostrophe has to be used the right way too. Otherwise it just doesn’t look right and it chafes me a little to see it used incorrectly.

We all learned the apostrophetical (my word. do you like it?) rules in grade school. How is it that they can have become so convoluted in so many people? Maybe if life came with a spell and grammar check these problems wouldn’t be so prominent. Or maybe people should just pay a little more attention to what they write and how they write it.  I chalk it all up to laziness and stupidity.

I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be. But I do know, for the most part, the difference between your and you’re, their, they’re and there, and how to use the apostrophe…most of the time… Okay, at least I know how to wear a g-string, and I don’t even wear one that often.

What grammar faux pas are you guilty of making again and again?


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