Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Misuse of Apostrophes

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I'm going to say it anyway. We need to talk about the correct use of apostrophes.

Recently I've picked up on a lot of misuse of apostrophes. I have a Game of Thrones poster that I've found no less than three mistakes in so far and I also went to a craft show over the weekend where I picked out two things that misused apostrophes.

So, here we go.

Apostrophes have two uses:

1. To indicate possession 
Amy's husband's name is Rory. [There are two apostrophes in this one. The first indicates that the husband is Amy's. The second one indicates that the name "Rory" is the husband's.]

I need to borrow six doctors' white lab coats. [In this case, "doctor" is plural so the apostrophe goes after the "s."]

2. Contractions
Let's = Let us
Can't = Can not
Won't = Will not

Next up, some situations in which apostrophes are NOT appropriate, but somehow get used anyway.

1. Sports teams 
Correct: Lions, Wolverines, Bears, Red Wings, Flyers, Pistons (Can you tell I'm a Detroit girl?)
Incorrect: Lion's, Wolverine's, Bear's, Red Wing's, Flyer's, Piston's

2. To make things plural 
Incorrect: There are twelve car's in the lot.
Correct: There are twelve cars in the lot.

There is one exception in these that should probably be mentioned and that is "it."

It's = It is (Ex: It's a beautiful day.)
Its = the possessive form of it (Ex: "My priority has always been and will always be the welfare of this school and, of course, its students.")