Editing & Writing Tips
Monthly Guest Blog for T. Denise Clary
This month's topic:
I was trying to come up with a GREAT topic for this month’s Guest Blog, but after seeing THREE “let’s add apostrophe-s to make our noun a plural” signs in the past couple of weeks…
…I’m feeling a very strong need to talk about apostrophes today.
I’m a Grammar Geek (some might go as far as to say Grammar Nazi). I can’t help it. I’ve been proofing and editing since 1999 … it’s ingrained at this point. I do realize that the majority of the world passes by such signs without a second look. In some ways that’s good, being oblivious, but this blog is for those of us who write for a living so let’s discuss a few apostrophe rules.
Nothing gets under my grammar geek skin more than an apostrophe incorrectly placed, or the wrong apostrophe-type word used. We’ve all had conversations about there/their/they’re. In fact, a Facebook friend tagged MoodyEdits recently in this funny:
(While it did crack me up, I couldn’t stop myself from pointing out that the period after “Nazi” should be a comma, and there should be a period at the end. Ha! The point, however, was nicely made. Moving right along…)
Let’s / Lets
Last August, Old Navy reprinted thousands of college team shirts because of an apostrophe catastrophe…
They had to, really. How would it look if thousands of COLLEGE kids were walking around sporting grammatical errors?
(I wonder if Old Navy added an Editor to their staff after this mishap.)
It’s / Its
Ugh… it pains me, PAINS me, to read this sign:
I think this has to be my biggest apostrophe-whine… using it’s for the possessive. It’s is a contraction for it is—nothing else—ever—under any circumstance. If it is to be possessive, there is NO apostrophe. End of story. Unbendable rule. Please help me spread the word.
“It’s important to put an apostrophe in its proper place.”
(I wish the world would learn this simple sentence.)
Okay, I could go on for days … you’re/your, who’s/whose … but you get the point. (And I know T Denise Clary’s readers feel my pain.) So I’m going to step down off my soapbox. It’s (notice the correct usage) a beautiful day. Let’s (there it is again) go out and enjoy it!
Jennifer Moody is a Professional Editor and the Owner of MoodyEdits. To learn more about Jen, visit her website at www.MoodyEdits.com. You might enjoy her take on living a happy life, on her blog “Editing My Life One Day at a Time” at www.MoodyEdits.blogspot.com. And if you wanted to be nice, you could like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MoodyEdits.