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The Care and Feeding of Apostrophes

Updated on January 13, 2015

Apostrophes: Where Do They Go?

I'm here today to talk to you about a terrible tragedy that's sweeping our planet. It's not the disappearance of your favorite brands from the store courtesy of those dastardly Brand Police, nor is it the scented kitty litter that makes your pet smell weird.

It's apostrophe abuse.

Those poor, lost, lonely apostrophes: you see them everywhere, looking for love in all the wrong places. Nearly every day, I see another apostrophe being abused or misused, far from where it belongs.

Look at these two sentences:

    No, really?

      No, really!

They mean very different things, don't they? You can't put question marks where exclamation points go, or vice versa.

Punctuation helps us make sense. Yet many people use apostrophes where they don't belong, and forget them where they DO belong. 

English is confusing enough without random apostrophes wandering around! Just like exclamation points and question marks, apostrophes change the meaning of a sentence, depending on where they are used. So I'm going to teach you how to help these poor stray apostrophes find their way home.

Don't worry. You don't have to be a grammar nitpicker or an English teacher to understand these lessons. (But there will be a quiz at the end.)

[Update 6/12]: For a hilarious cartoon, check out The Oatmeal's The Correct Use of the Apostrophe, with velociraptors! (Also, a poster for school teachers.)

The Three Uses of Apostrophes

Apostrophes belong in just three places. That's it!

  1. Contractions.
  2. Possessive Nouns.
  3. Nested Quotations.

Apostrophe Usage Crib Sheet

Print Out This Apostrophe Guide

Apostrophe Usage Quick Reference Sheet

Use Apostrophes with Contractions

Put 'Em Where They Ain't

Contractions are two or more words squished together.

When you squish words together, letters tend to drop out. The apostrophe shows some letters are missing.

For example:

they are --> they're

it is time --> it's time

where did he go? --> where'd he go?

2007 --> '07

could have --> could've

nine of the clock --> nine o' clock

Contractions are informal, so you shouldn't use them in formal research papers or magazine articles. But they show the way people really talk, so they're useful for writing down conversations. Also, they sound more friendly.

Apostrophe Review: Pop Quiz #1 - Apostrophes and Contractions

OOPS TIME!

Something is wrong with this picture. Can you spot the mistake? (Pop quiz answers at bottom of page)

Source

What should the sign say?

See results

Possessive Nouns

Owned!

Possessive noun? What's that again?

Noun: Well, remember the old song? "A noun is a person, place, or thing."

Possession means ownership, so a possessive noun is a noun that owns another noun. Add 's to the end of a noun to show that it is the owner.

With possessive nouns, the apostrophe shows who owns what.

For example:

the dog's nose

John's car

America's soldiers

in a year's time

women's t-shirts

If you think about it, the apostrophe is indicating missing letters here, too -- namely, the word "of". The dog's nose is short for the nose of the dog.

So one way to check yourself whenever you use an apostrophe with a noun is to ask yourself, "what letters are missing?"

What about words that already end in s?

In that case, just add the apostrophe, not another s.

For example:

my lens' title

And for plurals:

the dogs' noses (This shows that we're talking about more than one dog.)

the Joneses' house

Nitpicky exception:

If a SINGULAR proper name (a capitalized name) ends in s, then add 's even though it looks funny (some writers violate this rule, but by and large, most still follow Strunk & White):

For example:

Tom Jones's tie

Descartes's philosophy

Tom Jone's tie is NOT correct, because his name is Jones not Jone.

What about two names separated by "and"?

Ooooh, you're being nitpicky here, aren't you? Well, just in case it ever comes up, here's what you do.

If you're talking about joint ownership, put the 's after the last owner:

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

But if you're talking about separate ownership, then each owner gets his own 's:

Bill's and Ted's underwear (They're not wearing the same pair of underwear.)

But those are all rare special cases. 90% of the time, add 's to make a noun own another noun. Apostrophe + s means possession, NOT plural.

Apostrophe Review: Pop Quiz #2 - Apostrophes and Possession

OOPS TIME!

Something is wrong with this picture. Can you spot the mistake?

Source

What should the sign say?

See results

Nested Quotes

He Said That She Said...

Double quotation marks show that you're writing down what somebody said.

What if your narrator is reporting what

somebody else said?

Then you use double quotes for the outer quote, and single quotes for the inner one:

"You know," Jane said, "This is where Han Solo would say, 'I have a bad feeling about this.'"

In nested quotes, single quotes enclose a remark heard secondhand.

Just to be confusing, in older books published in Britain, you'll see it the other way around: the single quotes may go around the outer, main quotation, and the double quotes then go around the inner one. Nowadays, most British writers follow the rule I gave above.

Nitpicker's note: Technically, single quotes and apostrophes are not quite the same beastie. The former are used for quotes, the latter to indicate possession or a dropped letter. But we usually use the same punctuation mark for both, so I cover them here.

Apostrophe Review: Pop Quiz #3 - A common mistake on shop signs

OOPS TIME!

Something is wrong with this picture. Can you spot the mistake?

Source

What should the sign say?

See results

Places Where Apostrophes Do NOT Belong

So that's it!

Now you know the three places where apostrophes belong:

  1. Contractions

  2. Possessive Nouns

  3. Nested Quotes

I'm almost afraid to mention common mistakes, because I don't want to remind you of errors you see every day. However, it's worth pointing out the potholes so you can steer clear of them.

There are two places where apostrophes do not belong, but a lot of people don't realize it:

  1. Plural Nouns

  2. Possessive Pronouns

Plural Nouns

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Ordinary plural nouns -- nouns showing there's more than one of something -- end in s. JUST S. No apostrophe. I repeat, no apostrophe.

cats means more than one cat.

butterflies means more than one butterfly.

Americans means more than one American.

PhDs means more than one PhD.

CDs means more than one CD.

Also, this is correct: dos and don'ts

Therefore:

cat's means ONE cat which has something. For example, the cat's toy.

butterfly's means ONE butterfly which has something. For example, the butterfly's wing.

butterflies' means more than one butterfly is the owner. For example, the butterflies' habitat.

See the difference?

An apostrophe + s shows ownership.*

No apostrophe means a plural noun.If you can remember that, you'll be taking good care of your apostrophes. If you don't, you'll mix up different things, and then no one can tell what you're saying!

*It usually shows ownership. However, like I said, apostrophes are also used in contractions, two words squished together. SO 's is also used to indicate a contraction with the word is, for example, "Someone's knocking at the door." It's still not a plural noun.

Apostrophe Review: Pop Quiz #4 - Apostrophes and Plurals

OOPS TIME!

Something is wrong with this picture. Can you spot the mistake?

Pick your answer in the poll, then hover your cursor over the picture or check the bottom of the page for a full explanation.

Source

What should the sign say?

See results

Possessive Pronouns

My, Your, His, Her, Our, Your, Their

Pronouns are short little words that stand in for a noun. For example:, he, she, their, his, hers, me, your, they, your.

Some of these words are possessive pronouns. These are special little words that already mean "the owner of something else." Possessive pronouns do not need an apostrophe. Unlike regular nouns, possessive pronouns have the idea of ownership built-in.

For example:

She used to use that perfume, until her boyfriend told her he didn't like its scent.

Let's go over to your house.

Contractions DO use apostrophes, as I explained earlier:

You're looking sad.

It's time to go.

Do you see the difference?

You're = a contraction for you are

your = a possessive pronoun meaning "belonging to you"

it's = a contraction for it is

its = a possessive pronoun meaning "belonging to it"

If you get those two things mixed up, nobody can tell which one you mean.

Finally, there's a funny form of the possessive pronoun that ends in s.

Look at this:

We went to her house. That drink is hers.

I like your shoes. I'm all yours.

Her is an adjective, hers is a noun. But don't worry about that. Your brain knows which one to use where, even if you can't remember why. The point is, NEITHER one uses an apostrophe.

All you need to know is: Possessive pronouns don't use apostrophes.

Apostrophe Review: Pop Quiz #5 - Apostrophes and Contractions

OOPS TIME!

Something is wrong with this picture. Can you spot the mistake?

Source

What should the sign say?

See results

APOSTROPHE POP QUIZ ANSWERS

Click the underlined links to open each photo in a spare window.

Guests' Book

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    • profile image

      Barnez1 3 years ago

      Keep the apostrophe alive. It's an essential part of the English language's glue that holds the content together.

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

      Apostrophe Preservation rules! Great lens - blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome job, thanks.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Super duper job of making the complicated simple.

    • OldCowboy profile image

      OldCowboy 4 years ago

      I am learning... I am pretty good when it comes to knowing where to put the apostrophe, but I sometimes put one where it's not supposed to be. I didn't know the pronoun possessive rule. Now let's see how long it will take me to muff...lol Great English lesson here, my friend. Well done.

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 4 years ago from California

      @sybil watson: Very sorry!

      Squidoo just changed the layout for many things on the page, and quizzes seem to be giving the wrong answers now. I just checked, and the answer it's giving on the public version is NOT how I set it up in the editor! :(

      Hopefully it'll get fixed soon.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      Great lens! For some reason, the answer to # 4 on the apostrophe review says "Wheres' the beef" is correct, instead of "Where's the beef".

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens. My partner and I are both writers, and we cringe when we see the poor old apostrophe badly mistreated. Today I found one on a major hair care manufacturer's packaging. Thank you.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Still one of my all-time favorite lenses!

    • profile image

      Karen1960 5 years ago

      The late, great Keith Waterhouse (author of 'Billy Liar') liked to joke in his newspaper column about founding the AAAA - the Association for the Abolition of the Aberant Apostrophe. He'd have heartily approved of your lens :-)

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 5 years ago from California

      @anonymous: Plural nouns do not use apostrophes, so you should not use an apostrophe with a date. (I double-checked MLA just now, and it confirms it: don't use apostrophes for decades.)

    • emmakeynes profile image

      emmakeynes 5 years ago

      "The Apostrophe Protection Society" is a great organization!

    • emmakeynes profile image

      emmakeynes 5 years ago

      I'm so glad you did this! So many people misuse the apostrophe. Have you read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"? That book is amazing and funny and all about proper punctuation. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just want to say thank you, you really make learning the respectable "apostrophe" interesting, enjoyable and fun. Wonderful teaching skills...what a gem you are.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love this lens...great work! Adding it to my featured lenses section on my lens about adjectives!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi - Can you comment on the use of apostrophes in reference to decades? 1990s? 1990s? 90s? 90's? '90s? or '90's?

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Well done! Helpful lens.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      Outstanding lens! You have addressed one of my pet peeves!

    • Elhamstero profile image

      Elhamstero 5 years ago

      Ah, grocers' apostrophes. There's so many examples on signs around my town that I find myself reaching for a marker pen to correct them. I must resist. Apostrophe abuse really does annoy me though.

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 5 years ago from California

      @anonymous: I'm very, very sorry-- I'm usually very careful to hunt for Creative Commons photos and attribute/backlink properly! But this is a very old article I wrote 5 years ago. Please tell me which photo it is. I thought I had given a photo credit under each image on this page other than the graphics I drew myself.

      Unless you mean the Flickr widget at the bottom? I don't have direct control over which pictures it displays. It's supposed to find only Creative Commons photos that are licensed for reuse, but you're right, all it's doing is linking to the original photo page, which is only half the license. I will delete the widget, since I can't control how it works. If the photo you meant is somewhere else on the page and I forgot to put a caption, please tell me where, since I've just hunted through all the example photos and can't seem to find one that's uncredited.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      please don't grab my pictures from FLICKR without permission or credit, thanks

    • gregoryolney lm profile image

      gregoryolney lm 5 years ago

      This is another of errors which both amuse and annoy me ! Nice len's !

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 5 years ago

      Excellent work out, thank you.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Super cute page - I was drawn in by the title. I love words and now I know how to look after apostrophes too :)

    • lizziehumphreys1 profile image

      lizziehumphreys1 6 years ago

      Bad grammar annoys me too! I'm forever correcting people, especially "I could OF" instead of "I could have" - ugh, that's the worst English mistake ever!

      Okay, rant over. Great lens!

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 6 years ago from California

      @brandonwithglasses: Iâm afraid this problem predates the web, although not the internet: the codes needed to generate curly quotes are high-ascii, not part of the original character set for computers, and they do not display properly on all machines or in all fonts to this day. Itâs also more difficult to type them, since thereâs not visible keys for them. They can even screw up a lot of online posting boxes, whose programming languages cannot always cope with them. For these reasons, itâs very common to convert them to their straight cousins. Maybe now that algorithms are growing more sophisticated, the correct punctuation will be used.

      I so admire you for fighting the fight to keep street signs grammar and punctuation correct.

    • profile image

      brandonwithglasses 6 years ago

      Very good lens. I am on a crusade to teach others to distinguish the apostrophe from the foot mark. The internet is ruining typography! Good graphic designers should know the difference, but I see it typeset wrong everywhere! The clearance of an overpass should use foot marks and inch marks, not apostrophes and quotation marks.

      An apostrophe should have a curl to it just like a comma, but up higher. It should never be straight up and down. That is a foot mark.

      Iâm fairly certain that most web pages just default both quotes and apostrophes to inch marks and foot marks. This makes me sad.

    • fantasticallyfi profile image

      fantasticallyfi 6 years ago

      Fabulous interactive lens. Please feel free to have a look at my attempt on apostrophes too.

    • balancebydesign4u profile image

      Carol 6 years ago from Arkansas

      I loved this lens! Now will you do one on commas please? :-)

    • AbsoluteJeanius1 profile image

      AbsoluteJeanius1 6 years ago

      LOL Great lens! I used to give bonus points for photographs of signs around town with incorrect spelling or inappropriate punctuation. I feel confident my students are now pointing out to their own children as they drive 'em home from school, "See that sign? It should be 'CongraTulations' not 'CongraDulations.'"

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Just back to comment again that this is one of my very favorite lenses on all of Squidoo. Ah, I wish everyone would study it!

    • BlueStarling profile image

      BlueStarling 6 years ago

      Fun and educational lens -- English teachers could definitely use this in their class.

    • YsisHb profile image

      YsisHb 6 years ago

      Pro apostrophes in the right place, of course. I like the way you refer to them. It's like talking about stray puppies. Nice lesson, professor, it will help me refresh my English grammar.

      One think I hate is to watch people -at least here in Greece - saying metaphorical words which in written speech would be placed between quotation marks and at the same time forming the shape of quotation marks with their fingers.

      Have I thanked you for helping me with my lens on the book "FLOWERS OF GREECE"? I did so in the forum, I hope you have seen my comment.

    • fashionality lm profile image

      fashionality lm 6 years ago

      Splendid lens. It's ironic that there's no easy way to actually use an apostrophe. For example, keyboards only have dedicated keys for primes-- which aren't apostrophes. And primes are what you use here. As a descriptivist, I see nothing particularly wrong with this. People understand what it's supposed to mean anyway. But I think it's interesting nonetheless.

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      I never let my apostrophes wander - they're too young! Nice lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      Most informative. We all need to take better care of our apostrophes! I did well on your quiz so much have been paying attention. :)

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 6 years ago from Benson, IL

      Next time I see someone abusing apostrophes, I'm showing them your Lens! You're right. It's terrible!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Good lens. I always thought, though that if you put an apostrophe after a name that ends in an s then it's a plural possessive. I am probably wrong, but I protest! ;-D

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Good lens. I always thought, though that if you put an apostrophe after a name that ends in an s then it's a plural possessive. I am probably wrong, but I protest! ;-D

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      I like it when people put quizzes after they've talked about the knowledge within the quiz. It makes it easier to take the quiz. ;-)

      With Love and Gratitude,

      Jeremiah

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Apostrophe's there grate.

    • HeatherTodd1 profile image

      HeatherTodd1 6 years ago

      great lens

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      An excellent site...thank you!

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 6 years ago from Sydney Australia

      Now a shortcut on my desktop! I hate apostrophe's and think they should be outlawed! But I understand not using them correctly makes me look ignorant so this will be regular reading for me :-)

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 6 years ago from California

      @anonymous: Ack! Sorry. Thank you for finding your way here.

      I keep an eye on the Apostrophe Abuse blog, which led me to your post.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for your dispassionate and erudite comment at my blog. I'd have emailed you back, but I couldn't find an email address.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 6 years ago

      nine of the clock --> nine o' clock

      Well I never realized that o' clock is a contraction! I learned something! Actually I learned a lot from this lens, Favorited and Stumbled.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Dang you had to be very careful in that quiz, I missed two because I didn't take my time (too cockie) that will teach me.

      I will bet our kids these days could not pass this quiz because we no longer teach language in the classroom.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Since today is National Punctuation Day, this lens is being featured today on The Squid Calendar.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Whoops. Missed one in the quiz. I wasn't looking properly :(

      Thanks for the great pointers.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      Great read and very informative.

    • profile image

      resabi 6 years ago

      I, too, quibble with the correct answer to the Alice Moss question.

    • Peregrina LM profile image

      Peregrina LM 7 years ago

      This is wonderful, thanks! Apostrophe misuse drives me crazy.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Now I'm super confused. I love the apostrophe, and it kills me when people screw it up. That being said, I got one question wrong.

      I'd like to argue the Alice Moss question. My supporting evidence: Luke 8:40-42. I have always been taught that the Bible is correct. Unless Jesus is some divine exception to the rule....?

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      :) great lens. I did decently (90%). That last one had me stumped though.

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Blessed.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Yay, a lens right up my alley! A breath of fresh air, actually. I'm so nitpicky when it comes to proper punctuation (and spelling and grammar); although, I make plenty of goofs myself, especially when I'm rushing. I'm lensrolling this to my proofreading lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      cosmicjellybaby 7 years ago

      Isn't the possessive 's after a name that ends in s supposed to be used except when referring to either Jesus or a name of a Roman Emperor? Don't know why this should be, I just seem to remember it from some grammar book I read once upon a time. I mean Yates's Wine Lodge uses it, so are they right or re they wrong. Great lens by the way.

    • RobertoLebron LM profile image

      RobertoLebron LM 8 years ago

      I think I love you.

      Thank you. I laughed, I cried, and I laughed again. Great job. Your students are lucky indeed. Keep fighting the good fight. The English language needs more champions like you.

    • kathypi lm profile image

      kathypi lm 8 years ago

      Thank you for joining my group, "Need an answer to a question" lots of useful info here, glad to have your lens, great topic and lens, Kathy

    • profile image

      oma33 8 years ago

      Great lens. Although English is my second language I've always been bothered when I see signs like "Room's for Rent" "Lot's for Sale"

      You didn't touch on the "their-they're and there syndrome."

      I'm a retired Spec.Ed. Teacher but worked more with emotionally challenged students then students with learning disabilities.

      I won't try to remember how many cl;asses I spent on apostrophes etc.

      5 starts for your lens, although I feel they should supply more of them in special

      cases.

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 8 years ago from California

      [in reply to Anna] Your comment: I'm pretty sure "taste's great" is right. It's a contraction of "taste is great."

      You might be right, although I'm not the person who first registered that photo as apostrophe abuse, so I'm not the only person who saw it as awkward. I think most people say, "It tastes great," as opposed to, "The taste is great." However, now that you ask, I realize there is no way to know for certain which is meant! I guess I'd better find a less ambiguous example, eh?

    • BlackroseBugg profile image

      Melanie Barniskis 8 years ago from Southern Oregon

      Odd I should stumble over this a couple of days after I read that the Town Council in Birmingham has decided to eliminate all apostrophes from street signs and official maps. King's Court will now be Kings Court, etc. I think it is nothing more than a sneaky way to imply more royalty than they are entitled to, but that's just my two silver pennie's. OOPS pennies. :) Great Lens, oh creator of the Nipocar.

    • RolandTumble profile image

      RolandTumble 8 years ago

      Hooray! This is one of my pet peeves--great to see it addressed so well.

    • profile image

      Gail47 8 years ago

      Fantastic lens! I started a lens re punctuation and then found this one - ouch. Guess I'll rethink my lens. Great job. 5* and lensroll.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 8 years ago

      I think every teacher in America could use this lens as a homework assignment for their students. You did an exceptional job of teaching the correct use of the apostrophe - the lens is interesting, amusing, and accurate. I will be sharing it often.

    • Kathryn Beach profile image

      Kathryn Wallace 9 years ago from Greenbank, WA, USA

      Finally I understand nested quotes - thank you thank you thank you!!!

    • profile image

      cherangelry lm 9 years ago

      Oh! Another grammar girl! Yay! 5* and a new fan!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I'm pretty sure "taste's great" is right. It's a contraction of "taste is great".

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Wow! I couldn't have said it better! So, instead of repeating what you've said, I hope you don't mind me lensrolling to your great site in addition to linking to it! Drop by my Grammar and Parts of Speech site and say "Hi"!

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 9 years ago from California

      ukexpat: I made exactly that point at the end of my short "Nested Quotes" section. But you're the second person to repeat what I said there, so I'm obviously not being clear enough! I'll have to think about how to rephrase it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      In your "Nested Quotes" example, they are technically not apostrophes, they are "single inverted commas".

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I admired this lens long ago, but am back to bestow a Squid Angel Blessing (also to lensroll to my grammar lens). Thanks for supporting the oft-abused apostrophe!

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      I was just getting ready to make this very lens, but you beat me to it. Very nice job. 5 star's (ha ha)

    • profile image

      squidinkley 9 years ago

      Happy to join the small minority of people who actually know or care about apostrophe misuse. I gave this lens 5 stars--it amazes me how even major corporations like Procter & Gamble don't know that their "Kid's Crest" has a glaring error in its labeling. From what I see, misuse of "it's" is the single biggest problem in this category: no one--especially on the web--seems to recognize that it can work ONLY as a contraction. My advice to those unsure about where to place an apostrophe is: don't. Youll just end up looking ignorant.

    • profile image

      cherangelry lm 9 years ago

      Thank you so much for this informative lens! I am often saddened when I see the poor apostrophe tortured so brutally. It deserves to be used appropriately but sadly the poor little guy is often overlooked or overused by ignorant or lazy language marauders.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      The Adjectives just came over to visit your Apostrophes. Congratualtions on a great lens.

    • profile image

      thomasz 9 years ago

      Nice lens. Great info.

    • bigjimj profile image

      bigjimj 9 years ago

      FABULOUS lens! 5* and I've submitted it for Lens Of The Day. Great job.

    • ce2consulting profile image

      ce2consulting 9 years ago

      Terrific lens! I love the "What's Wrong With This Picture" modules. I've been a professional editor/proofreader, and I hate explaining apostrophes. Well done and funny, too.

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 9 years ago from California

      BNickel: I suspect the (')til mistake derives from people thinking that it's a contraction of until, but yes, it's frustrating when major networks or magazines like Time don't check their grammar!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      AMEN!! My personal pet peeve - people who put apostrophes in their family name, creating such painful expressions as "Merry Christmas from the Smith's." Argh!

    • profile image

      BNickel 9 years ago

      Great lens! I'm a copy editor, and my pet peeve is the single open quote used as an apostrophe to begin words like 'til as in 'Til Death (see new photo #11 I submitted). Can't believe a big TV network doesn't bother to use a proofreader before plastering their logo on billboards all over the USA!

    • profile image

      Andrew_Braithwaite 10 years ago

      Hey great lens very interesting!

      Rate Your Mum

    • sonia simone profile image

      sonia simone 10 years ago

      Bless you for this important lens, you magnificent creature.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh fun. Thank you Greek! Who can live without Strunk and White at their fingertips? Best desktop investment ever. (Yes, I know. That's an incomplete sentence.)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 10 years ago

      Wonderful lens. This is such a pet peeve of mine! I love your pics with all the gaffes (or is it gaffe's?)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Can I show this to the produce lady at the grocery store, the one who sells banana's? Or the editor of our local weekly newspaper (a per-fessional, for pete's sake!)? This is my all-time pettest pet peeve! Love the lens! Can I rate it twice? You deserve 10 stars!

      Susan

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      anonymous 10 years ago

      My wife is always nagging me about apostrophes. I've added this lens to my favorites as a reference! :)

    • MacPharlain profile image

      MacPharlain 10 years ago

      Awesome lens! We should all do our part to end apostrophe abuse.

    • freaknoodles1 profile image

      freaknoodles1 10 years ago

      Great lens! I think it should be required reading for anyone writing ads or printing signs. It amazes me that people pay for advertising and don't bother to use correct punctuation and spelling.

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 10 years ago

      LOL - love this lens!!

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 10 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Awesome lens!!!! 5,5,5!

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      gpower2llc 10 years ago

      This is great! Thank you.

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 10 years ago

      Wow! I´ll have to concentrate a little more in future, although English is not my mother tongue either :).

      Great Lens.

    • surfsusan profile image

      surfsusan 10 years ago

      Help! my brain is boiling. It could be that English is not my mother tongue.

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      MrLewisSmile LM 10 years ago

      Eats, Shoots

    • The-Bard profile image

      The-Bard 10 years ago

      "Yes..I want to preserve the apostrophe!"

      You've made another great lens. Well done!