Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Misused, abused apostrophes

There seems to be an epidemic of misused apostrophes lately. Blog posts, church bulletins, signs--they're everywhere! So here is a little reminder, all in good fun:

Apostrophes are maddening
and frankly, it’s quite saddening
to see misuse and harsh abuse
before my very eyes!

Punctuation is oppressive—
Did you know “its” is possessive?—
and contractions are distractions
that elicit anguished cries.

This may be quite depressin’
but you just might need this lesson
on when you ought to use (or not)
that little curvy mark.

So in the interest of prevention
(I don’t mean to cause contention)
I now will show what you should know,
not leave you in the dark.

If you want to show possession
it would be an indiscretion
to cause distress for little “s”
with no apostrophe.

But when you’re showing many,
in most cases, don’t use any.
For more than one (butts, days or suns)
just let those fellas be.

I hope you don’t feel queasy,
but contractions can be easy
if you just recall to write them all
apostrophes included.

Don’t fall into deception.
There are very few exceptions.
With Strunk and White, you’ll get it right.
My lesson’s now concluded.


  1. O.M.G this should be published somewhere! LOVE IT!

  2. Maybe sub to SCBWI magazine?

  3. Thanks! This is the direction my writing often takes when I am lacking true inspiration. At least it was fun!

  4. A-ma-zing. Get this published, now. (:

  5. Are you ladies serious? I was only goofing off (while admittedly making a point).

  6. I was thinking SCBWI magazine, too. Do it! This is great.

  7. I LOVE it. So, so true.

  8. Brilliant!
    Good reminder. This is one of my pet peeves of all time.

    Passing a shop window: Check out our daily special's.

    Grocery store: Tomato's half-off.

    Bonus: your instead of you're.

    Thank you, Rebecca. "Your" great!

    (Oh, yes, this IS perfect for SCBWI mag.)

  9. Ron, how about:

    Restaurant marquee: 69 cent taco's
    Construction sign: Coming soon: Shoppe's at _____
    Church bulletin insert: August Birthday's

    The worst one was on the back of a 5th grade class t-shirt!


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