Requiem For The Apostrophe


Is the apostrophe on its way to annihilation? Will punctuation soon enter the annals of history? Is a new era of transitional grammar dawning?


Well, it looks like that’s the way the winds of change are blowing. For many, any kind of protest is just a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. After all, what does it really matter whether something is spelt Kings or King’s? Dispense with that little tadpole like thingie once and for all and you don’t really have to worry your head about where it goes anymore. Ah, blessed relief!

For others, it’s the death knell of language as they know it. The beginning of the end, as it were. First the apostrophe, then, who knows? It could well be every punctuation mark we know. ‘Out, damn’d spot!’ would probably be the last of it as the world entered a brave new world unhampered by any kind of punctuation. For the purist, there could be no fate worse than this, never mind that some might just see it as a natural progression or evolution of language.


Well evolution is, as we speak, taking place on the streets of Birmingham and place names and road signs are going to bid a quick goodbye to the apostrophe. The Birmingham City Council feels it will be much better from the point of view of emergency services. The banishing of the apostrophe will make it easier for them to find places and not get lost. One infers from this that the apostrophe led the emergency services a merry dance through the streets of Birmingham like some Will o’ the Wisp, spreading confusion instead of clarity. If America and Australia do not put the apostrophe on place names to avoid confusion, can Birmingham be far behind?


Strangely, there are a number of professors and such erudite ilk who don’t see anything earth shattering about this move. After all, how many really do get their apostrophes right? They should know – they correct heaps of student papers. Looked at from that angle, maybe they have a point. However, there are many others who are making a strong protest against this move, asking the Council how they can teach their students what is right and what isn’t when the city signboards are wrong? The Apostrophe Protection Society (oh, yes, there really is one!) is up in arms against what it sees as a very bad example to students.


Well, the ones who do not subscribe to this don’t see this move as either wrong or right, just expedient. Does it really matter what someone like Lynne Truss has to say – well, anyway, who is this Lynne Truss? Didn’t she write something about pandas? Expediency is the need of the hour and if one has to axe the unnecessary, the superfluous, the hangers-on, so be it. Let’s guillotine the apostrophe and get back to business as usual.


And leave it for some band to compose a song about ‘The Day The Apostrophe Died’.

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Comments 100 comments

The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Be very careful what you visit upon the apostrophe, Shalini, especially the apostrophe Paul. In biblical times those who persecuted him rued the day.

I, personally, am very fond of apostrophies. I hoard them and only bring them out for special occasions. I sometimes use them for commas when my supplies run low. (I'm extremely enthusiastic about comma usage, as you know.)

Do not shun the 'umble " ' "!


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

I've never had a problem with apostrophes. It's all of those commas and semicolons that have it in for me. I never know where those little buggers go, so I just throw them in there, all over the place! I do think it sad, though, when parts of a language die in the name of convenience.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

TOF - you really do crack me up - apostrophe Paul indeed! And apostrophies ROFL - I do hope you have many of them adorning your mantlepiece - NOTE: I will NOT ask you for what nefarious activities they were awarded!

BT - thanks for coming by - truth be told, I'm a closet semi-colon hater and avoid using it - ah - what a relief coming out!


Writer Rider 7 years ago

You know, what I learned in school is that the quotation marks come "after" A period or a comma yet even in jounalistic fields people tend to put the quotation marks "before" the periods and commas. In fact, in college you're paper would be marked down if you did the later http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_c...


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Shalini;

For being a foul vowel dropper.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

In the UK we have the opposite - the greengrocers' apostrophe. Orange's, apple's and banana's for sale.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

I'm not a huge text messanger, but of course my teenage daughter is and it's how she and I sometimes communicate when she's riding a loud school bus on the way from an athletic event and I couldn't hear her if she called. But, punctuation sucks in text-messaging! Other than that........(see the excessive use of periods).....I would miss punctuation.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Didnt George Bernard Shaw write without punctuation? I have read several novels that had no quotation marks nor apostrophes. Really if all we had were periods exclamation points and question marks couldnt we all survive? (; We would just have to use a lot of emoticons! ;)


Writer Rider 7 years ago


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Well, I personally think it's a bad idea. Punctuation gives written work their personality.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

Good hub. A bit disappointed that this may not be something fictional too far into the future...


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

First they tell us it's ok if we don't get all the spellings right; then they allow us to drop punctuation marks...that would just leave too much to the imagination right? left to the imagination to the reader to figure out what the writer was thinking of. Heh hehe! maybe it's just somebody's way to get the imagination working!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

I read an article today about the British town doing away with apostrophes. As KCC mentioned when it comes to texting its a pain, but I do appreciate the little apostrophy, it adds to the clarity of a written communication.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

I cant agree more.  Peoples writing skills just arent the same as they were in the olden days.  The writers craft has been kilt by chatters rooms on the net.  Dont nobody care no more about propa grammer?  I cant stands to see people destroyin the english language.  Dont nobody care abouts it?!?!


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

My Gramma was proppa, my Grampa was Irish. Well well wait for an ill wind, then Ill see if shell shell out for some shellfish to put in the well, until Ill and shell cook them, and then well eat em.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

That's the spirit. Can't master the grammar rule, so just abandon it entirely. What's next? The comma? The period?

BTW, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is a hoot! Isn't it grand how such mundane topics make such interesting (and useful) hubs!?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Writer Rider: thanks for that link! It's amazing how many people get it wrong!

TOF: Ahhhh - I wondered - and I guess you've reclassified the humble 'h' as a vowel now! Irish? Now we know where all that blarney comes from - I'm sure you'll be the first to admit the 'proppa' strain has passed you by :D Loved the 'Life without the Apostrophe' bit!

LondonGirl: The greengrocers' apostrophe - LOL! In India, when in doubt, we dispense with it, merrily. The trouble is, very often there is nary a cloud of doubt on the horizon!

KCC: I understand, totally - with an almost 17-year old, I've entered the world of text messaging with a vengeance - and I learn everyday!

justmesuzanne: wasn't that e e cummins? Shaw I think was a stickler :)

TK: Good to see you here - yes, Time marches on, relentless.

Vibha: Yes, we will need a LOT of imagination, judging by TOF's example!

VioletSun: I agree - there's a time and a place for punctuation :)

imadork: Thanks for reading! Let's declare WAR! With words!

Mighty Mom: There you are! Ah yes, so easy to cast it off, right? I loved the book too - what I liked was how she managed to do it without being pedantic and preachy!


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Shalini, I can be frightfully Proppa when I set my mind to it, and drop h'aspirates and consonants too, as in "Goin' 'untin', shootin', and fishin', what?"

Tootle pip.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

i love the apostrophe, for me it signifies learned and deliberate writing. Even in text messaging, i make sure i do not abbreviate or use acronyms - but i do have the tendency to overlook the "shift" key as in this case :D


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

TOF: ...if you say so!! Pip Pip to you too, ol' chap!

Chris: You're a stickler, you are - now that shifty stuff I would never have suspected!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia

Shalini, there is so much fun in this hub that it makes little difference to me what those boobs do with the apostrophe. I'll keep it if I want. ;)

The Apostrophe Protection Society is a riot for sure! Too funny! And the bit about dropping the apostrophe on road signs to keep emergency vehicles from getting confused is TOO funny! Even if it's true, it's hysterical. I just can't imagine myself driving somewhere and getting confused over an apostrophe on a road sign. ROFL! Which way to do I go? What do I do now? There's a freaking apostrophe tagged on that name. How confusing. :D

Wonderful read!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

I too love the apostrophe, tho' a limpy phallic metaphor of my present. I could not do with out it. Regardless of TOF's example


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Ithinkthedeletionofthespaceisnext. Shortlyfollowedbyperiods,questionmarksandexclamationpoints. Alsobepreparedforthecapitallettertodisappear,asitistoodifficulttoteachtheweeonestwodifferentwaystowritealetter.

Itisverydifficulttowritethisway. Letshopeitsawhilebeforethespaceleavesus.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks Pam for stopping by - well, I found the existence of an APS quite funny too! And the part about the emergency services was a laugh too :D

CCR: Here's to the apostrophe going on forever!

Proud Mom: idoagreewholeheartedly:D


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I've (or Ive, acording to the new rules) given this a bit more thought. I'm (or Im) beginning to think that the elimination of the apostrophe from the English language is actually a very clever ploy to help our citizens. and our economy. You see, the apostrophe is what signifies ownership or possession. It turns an ordinary noun into a possessive. Example: John becomes John's; the Smiths becomes the Smiths'. We won't get into the Jones/Jones'/Jones's debate as that is a legitimate source of global apostroph confusion (GAC).

Now if we cut out posessives by completely eliminating apostrophes, we in fact force people to become less possessive (e.g., to reduce the number of their possessions). At the risk of being pounded by the faction that believes Obama and his administration are full-blown socialists -- even though this anti-apostrophe trend is not limited to the USA) there is a shared benefit that impacts personal and national spending behavior. When the only posessives that remain are his, hers, theirs and ours, they far outweigh the one remaining selfish possessive "mine."

And there you have it. Concrete proof why Mighty Mom is not now, never was, and never will be an economist. But she sure does enjoy having fun with our shared language for the enjoyment of like-minded grammarians:-)!!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Mighty Mom! That was phenomenal! And it definitely needs to rise above being a mere post to a hub status of its own - so how about it? I'm telling you, those economists - most of them wear blinkers anyway! - could learn a thing or two from you!


Kiruba Harris 7 years ago

Rest in peace apostrophe, the rest will follow suit. We shall soon see a new dawn with no punctuation and it is believed to bring greater clarity.!!!!!! Just ask the kids.....


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

(((((((((((')))))))))) I love you wee apostrphe, litlle tho' you may be. You make what's merely mine all mine and give I thanks to mighty thee!


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

stupid punctuation, thats why, I mean that's why, I never got an A in my English class's, I mean an "A" in English classes'. I mean, I never received an "A" in an English class. Ah, forget it.


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

that's good Taod. I liked that


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

RIP - sounds so sad and final, doesn't it, K?

CCR - I'm glad the humble apostrophe inspired you to verse!

goldentoad - should we just say 'Off with their heads' to all punctuation? You really SHOULD have got an A!


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

I blame it mostly on the emergence of SMS language, and the fact that the internet is a lenient medium.

Although the deterioration has already set in, it's not too late to take action.

We all should eat, shoot, and stay!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

quicksand - I've missed you!!! Thanks for coming by! Should I promise to eat shoots and stay?? :D


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

e e cummins wrote without capitalization or punctuation

I think Shaw wrote without punctuation. Or maybe with minimal punctuation. It was part of his push for Universal language - I think.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks justmesuzanne - I stand corrected - you've just inspired me to go back and read more of Shaw. Thanks as always for stopping by!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

I love the apostrophies, ever since they came over from England with their mop-heads and that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, girls screaming in the audience.  Now it seems the few original apostrophes that are left are being forced out.  It's sad.

I know this is off-topic, but those little squiggly marks at the ends of words, sometimes before s's and sometimes after.....I'm FOR them.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Christoph - dismissing the Fab Four as apostrophes? haha! Glad to know you're rooting for them though!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

I thought they were exclamation points!!!!

I don't think you'll find any Shaw without punctuation now. I think when he actually wrote it (by hand) it was without punctuation. By the time it was published, it was punctuated. Of course, I could be completely misremembering this! :D


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi again justmesuzanne - no you aren't misremembering :) - he did write a couple of plays I think in what was called the Shavian alphabet- a phonetic alphabet without or rather minimal punctuation.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Oh, I wasn't dismissing the Beatles. I think they are by far the greatest band to ever exist. Just a joke that didn't fly. But apostrophe's are cool too. No, seriously, I am against this simplifying of everything in language. It's lazy or something. Now a days, if we can't be bothered to learn the rules, we just change the rules. It speaks to a much larger societal disregard for....I don't know....tradition? Learning?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

I do agree with you Christoph - ah well, it's a case of the old order changing, yielding place to new I guess :(

And I know you would never dismiss the Beatles but I couldn't resist pulling your leg :D


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Ooooooooh my pet peeve! :P

In the course of my work I'm always grappling with missing apostrophes in other people's work and it gives me great pleasure to poke them right in. But maybe I'm in the shrinking minority...sigh.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

So are we all FP - so are we all - now if only some of that shrinking would show up in our physical selves :(


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Hehe...must remember to put that apostrophe after our names lest people think we've grown to be plural! :P


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Great hub, Shalini! I had no idea the seemingly innocent apostrophe was causing such a ruckus in the streets of Birmingham. I'm a fan of the little buggers, but I've noticed that some people have a serious aversion to them. Still, I'll be doing my part to keep them firmly entrenched in my possessives and compounds.

Thanks for an entertaining read!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading Melissa - while we can't do without those squiggly 'little buggers', it really makes one want to pull one's hair out when they are pushed into all the wrong places - soooooo, maybe there's a case for doing away with them!! :D


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

The apostrophe is badly misunderstood, Shalini. It really means no harm. I don't know why everybody's always pickin' on it. It's there to help, not to cause trouble. Give the apostrophe the benefit of the doubt. Next thing you know they'll be out to get the exclamation point. It's very sad. Don't people know it's all about communication? What's most important is that the reader understands what the writer means.

Where do I sign up for the Apostrophe Protection Society?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

William - thanks for coming by! I'm sorry if it sounded otherwise - I do adore the apostrophe too! However, the fact that it is more often abused than used rightly really bugs me :(

The Apostrophe Protection Society was started in 2001 by John Richards in Boston - you can become a member by writing to him: johnrichards20@beeb.net


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

It didn't sound otherwise, Shalini. I was just apostrophizing! Thanks for the address.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

'apostrophizing' - nice!!!! :)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

OOO! Shalini you have a 99! soon to go perfect. You have been apotrophized I see. LOL Wish I would have been the one. Still putting out the messae. We need to save the little one really we do.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

The wee one shall yet be saved CCR! ,,,,er.. excuse me while I go find a halo before that 99 disappears!!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Not every noun can be verbified....


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

I agree LondonGirl :)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Yeah, you were verbified.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Calling me a noun or a no-one now??? LOL!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Shalini, you've just taken this often boring and pedantic debate over the necessity of punctuation to a new level. What a clever Hub, both funny and sad, with words to ponder for those on either side of the debate.

From the picture, it looks like the saint's name was Pauls. Too bad he's not around to defend his name against laziness and lack of manners. (BTW, HP's spell checker flagged "Pauls" and recommended "Paul's". Even it knows better!)

@Mighty Mom...I agree with Shalini. How about a Hub?

Thumbs up!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for stopping by Sally! Glad HP knows better LOL!

Yes, we must go prod MM for a hub now!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

I love the little apostrophe, I think I'll have him round for tea, I'll offer him some bread and jam, or perhaps a little (Birming)ham. He really is a helpful guy. A shame we'll probably lose him (Sigh!)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Amanda!!! Love that verse!

Would be hard to see it go, wouldn't it?

Thanks for reading :)


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

NO0oooooooooo!  I can't bear it!  Not my beautiful apostrophe!  It pains me, hurts me, makes me cry when others misuse it or omit it. 

[RiderWriter is noticing the differing punctuation between English/American usage and most journalistic usage, while academic American use tucks many punctuation marks neatly inside quotation marks.] 

We should nurture the apostrophe and venerate its presence. Sacrifice colons to it.  Placate it with commas and ellipses. . . .


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Teresa - you warm my heart! Should we write a sonnet to it you think? Or would an ode be more appropriate?

PS: I will be more than happy to sacrifice the semicolon to it :D


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

:D, indeed! we need the semicolon, too; it separates related ideas, just as a four-way intersection with traffic lights separates two diffent but connected roads. Use it, or I will hunt you down and sacrifice you to the apostrophe! (Just kidding.)

Ah yes, an ode, perhaps. Or an Elegy? On its near-demise? A haiku on its brevity? Hmmmmmmmmm


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Should I lay myself down on the apostrophe altar? LOL

An ode, a haiku, yes! An elegy that will get it buried in a country churchyard? Noooo :(


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia

So much about something so seemingly innocuous. But so frequently used and abused, that's it's misuse can change everything! Great hub! (did I get the apostrophe's right?) :-)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Sometimes it does seem like much ado about nothing, doesn't it? Thanks for reading Lifebydesign!


kristinemac profile image

kristinemac 7 years ago from Michigan

Oh my goodness, I think my daughter would go into shock if such a thing as the annihalation of the apostraphe was so readily enforced. She is a grammar nazi. Great hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

kristinemac - you've got a great daughter there! wow! thanks for reading!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I have trouble with where to put the little tadpole. I know it makes me pause, thereby allowing the writer to introduce new things to the sentence that would be harder to join together without that crazy little smeared teardrop, but that's about all I know about it.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

The little tadpole makes you pause? That's so much better than the ones who put it in all the wrong places with scant regard for the poor thing! Thanks for stopping by :)


Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 7 years ago from San Diego, California

I'm going to start a campaign to save the apostrophe! I hate that spoken language is losing more and more of its eloquence these days. With the advent of texting and IM talk, kids are just useless when it comes to proper english. I'll stop ranting now :) Your article was very entertaining. Thanks for the fun read.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading Benjimester! I must confess - though I hate what's happening too - it really is a case of 'when in Rome....' for me - I am guilty of doing the same when I text message my teen :D


Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 7 years ago from San Diego, California

I hear ya. I've actually never sent a text message before. No one can believe it. 26 year old in San Diego, California. I'm gonna lead the linguistic revolution :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Oh wow - I find it hard to believe too! Kudos to you - with youngsters like you there's hope for the literary world yet!!!


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

How are the pups, Shalini?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Great Proud Mom - thanks for asking! The little one has everyone including the older dog wrapped around her l'il paw :D


MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I can't stop laughing when I envisage the Keystone Cop antics of the Birmingham fire and ambulance brigades dashing frantically hither and yon - bringing havoc down upon a great city all because of those sly, troublemaking little apostrophes! First rate, Shalini.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank you for reading MindField - hilarious when one thinks about it!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

shalini, i was drawn to this hub because of the fabulous title...they can't get rid of the apostrophe, without it, words do not mean the same thing...the sign at the top of the hub means the square of many pauls - without the apostrophe...haha


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for coming by Dolores - yes, without it, the possessive and the plural could get quite tangled up!


WordWielder profile image

WordWielder 7 years ago from Austin

Incredibly done. I had heard about the uproar but it's amazing how quickly this stuff fades into insignificance when compared to other earth-shaking news such as Lindsey Lohan's drunken drills or Jessica Simpson's fall from grace with a few extra pounds then rise again now that they've come off. We're a lopsided society and this is a perfect example of policially correct pundits making mountains out of molehills while leaving the real mountains that plague society- untouched. Thank you for the insightful, entertaining and provocative hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading WordWielder - you do wield your words wonderfully well!


Guardian1 profile image

Guardian1 7 years ago

Punctuation is a necessary evil. It should not be dispensed with for mere convenience, no matter how much of a pain in the ass it is. ;-)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

How true Guardian1 - let us then be up and doing to keep it alive and kicking, I say :D


Capt and The Kid profile image

Capt and The Kid 7 years ago

It's you're openin' I'm enjoyin' 'bout apostrophy's dyin'

Cap'n


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi Cap'n - thanks for keeping those apostrophes alive 'n kickin' :D


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

I seem to have a whole closet full of punctuation - I find them scattered all over my keyboard after writing, and I haven't a clue where they came from...


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

A closet full Enelle? LOL! Are you sure it's safe to let them all out? :D

Thanks for reading!


nutuba profile image

nutuba 7 years ago from North Carolina

Long live the apostrophe! The fact that we Americans have trouble knowing when to use it or not use it is no justification for getting rid of it.

I'll bet most Americans don't know that the capital of Montana is Helena. That doesn't mean we should get rid of Helena (or Montana, for that matter).

If we lose the apostrophe, we lose contractions as well. Instead of saying should've, we would have to say (or write) it all the way out: should have. What a waste of precious time and ink just because we didn't have the tool we need to shorten it to a contraction. Yikes.

(Nice article, by the way. :-)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading nutuba. Yes, it could set off a whole lot of expansions and we wouldn't want that, would we?

Since most of the Americans I've lived with and worked with have never had any trouble about knowing when to use it, I will not comment on the first part of your comment :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Shalini - congratulations on winning best nonfiction hub! This was one of the earlier hubs that I read and I was totally impressed with the whole hubpages scene thanks to you!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

I can't tell you how wonderful that makes me feel, Dolores. Thank you so much!


Myriad profile image

Myriad 6 years ago from the bottom of your heart .. ie chennai!

in an age when even spellings r being shrtned to hav convenience , The demise of aphoshtrophe ..might not be mourned !


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

The passing of anything tends to be cause for mourning, Myriad - especially when one is from the old school :)


Audrey2751 6 years ago

This is one of my favs---used it a lot in my grammar training.

Woman without her man is nothing

An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.”


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

So like the Lynne Truss book, right? That little comma can make such a huge difference!


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Shalini! I love your hub; hate everything it stands for. I love the apostrophe. It has a function. When this ceases to be the case, then get rid of it. Do you agree? Of course you do.

And Lynn Truss? She is my mentor; my guru. I love and adore the ground she walks on.

What a nasty world we would live in with no Lynn Truss; with the greengrocers' apostrophe.

Think how many evening we would not be able to spend discussing whether it is the "greengrocer's" apostrophe or the "greengrocers'" apostrophe.

It's obviously the latter... or would you say: "Its obviously the latter"?

I rest my case.


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Twilight Lawns - I'm so glad we are in agreement! Life without the apostrophe would be tragic indeed!


Myles 4 years ago

The problem will come when someone wants to write WONT.

which version am i using? the "custom" or the "will not"?

There are plenty more but I WONT go into them now!


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi Myles it would be a tough life without it, wouldn't it?

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