Monday, November 12, 2012

Use that Apostrophe!

Greetings from the Grammar Queen. Have you missed me, dear Grammarians?

Today, I want to talk to you about the apostrophe: when do you need it. In a coming post, we’ll talk about when to skip it. And in a still later post, we’ll discuss special cases.

“No, I wont.” 

Wont is actually a word. “She was wont to click her heels.” In the case above, however, you need an apostrophe. Period. Don’t, won’t, can’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, didn’t…they all need apostrophes.

In this case, the apostrophe signifies that the words are contractions – two words combined, with the punctuation replacing the deleted vowels.

How about signifying ownership?

Cate’s doll. Jeffrey’s dog. Christopher’s cat. Tiffany’s sanity.

Obviously, the last is a joke. Tiffany hasn’t had her sanity in years.

Yes, you need apostrophes in all of those cases.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the omission of the apostrophe in each of those cases.

What apostrophe pet peeves do you have?


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