Un-Words, Pt. VI

… not quite an un-word but no less significant to our quest for knowledge, understanding and learning the rules before we break them, if they must be broken, is a note about apostrophes.

These —> <— things.

Apostrophes do two things and two things only: make contractions and indicate possession.

Example sentence: I can’t remember a time Cleveland’s opinion wasn’t influenced by others’.

can’t = cannot
Cleveland’s opinion = the opinion of Cleveland
wasn’t = was not
others’ = the opinion of others

It’s just that simple. Anything else you have going on, I say emphatically, does not require an apostrophe. Nothing. And I mean nothing. I can’t think of one exception to this rule. When making things plural, unless they’re posessives, they don’t require an apostrophe.

Recently, in the library, of all places, I saw a woman wearing a green T-shirt with hot pink lettering splattered across the chest that read, “AKA’s for Obama.” Sorors, this. is. wrong. Unless the AKAs own Obama, which would explain why the financial assessment is so high, there’s no need for that little floating comma.

“CD’s for sale!” is a sign I see often. (People who make signs are the worst.) What, oh what, have CDs ever owned besides scratches? In that case, you’d say/write something like, “This CD’s scratches cause it to skip incessantly.”

Let’s clarify once more time for safety’s sake (the sake of safety): Apostrophes make contractions and indicate possession. … Take MsInklination’s word for it, muffins!

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~ by MsInklination on September 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Un-Words, Pt. VI”

  1. Have you read Eats, Shoots and Leaves? It’s a very cute grammar and punctuation book.

    The title was derived from a poorly punctuated description of pandas. In one of the book’s opening scenes, a panda walks into a public place (a library?), eats a sandwich, then draws his bow and shoots two arrows. When the librarian asks why he has done that, the animal points to a book’s definition of panda, which reads, in part: “Eats, shoots and leaves,” apparently describing the species’ diet rather than behavior.

    Check it out.

  2. Thank’s!

    LOL. Just messing with you.

    Seriously, I do mindlessly make the unnecessary apostrophe mistake. Now I will remember this blog entry and be more conscious of it. Thanks. 🙂

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