Grammar: The Chaos of the Apostrophe

The apostrophe is everywhere these days. It shows up in places you do not expect. It shows up in places it does not belong. It’s like some new hideous fashion trend making grammar victims of us all.

It’s Not about Its.

Everyone has, at one time or another, made the it’s/its or the you’re/your mistake. It happens when we type too fast. Those occasional mistakes are forgivable, especially in the days of rapid texting and social  media. I’ve made them before and I’m sure I will again.

But the real chaos of the apostrophe is not in the intermittent misspellings, it’s in the fact that some people now believe the apostrophe belongs everywhere there is an “s” at the end of a word.

There Are No Plural’s.

I’m a member of several Shiba Inu forums (god help me, I’m one of those dog owners) and far too many people on those forums think that the plural of “shiba” is “shiba’s.” You do not need an apostrophe to make a word plural. The plural of “shiba” is “shibas.”

Apostrophes indicate possession or a contraction. They do not indicate plurality. 

Similarly, and this is an error I see almost everywhere, even in high-profile publications, you do not put an apostrophe on the end of years. If you want to refer to the 1960s, you say “1960s,” not “1960’s.” The latter indicates that you will be discussing something which belonged to that decade. The former indicates that you will be discussing the decade as a whole.

It’s also not ABC’s. It’s ABCs.

So to recap: All shibas are perfect. I frequently take pictures of my perfect shiba’s face.

The ‘ Is Not Attached to the S.

There is also a horrible trend of placing the apostrophe before the “s” at the end of any and all words. On several different websites I have seen things like “he love’s me” or “I can’t wait for this serie’s to start.”

I honestly don’t know how to respond to this level of weirdness, because that’s what it is. It’s just weird.

I don’t know what is going on in this country that people don’t know basic grammar. Again, my grammar isn’t always perfect and I’m a writer by trade. I often make simple mistakes when I write, as does everyone else. But there is no excuse for using an apostrophe in a verb or in a word like “series.”

I wish I could say that I was just nitpicking by writing this blog, but the misuse of the apostrophe is all too prevalent in our written words. I don’t know if it’s lack of education or lack of care, but whatever the reason, people should not be making such alarming mistakes with simple grade school grammar.

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