Apoplectic over Apostrophes

Oh, I could do a little rant about the Junos today and how, after a spectacular performance from Nickelback, the usually dependable Russell Peters sucked all the life out of the opening with his lame contribution.  But I’d rather talk about the apostrophe and try to figure out why so many people have no idea how to use it. 

You may wonder what’s wrong with the photo in the “blog photos” gallery.  Well, it would be perfect if the surname of the host was Hubb.  But it’s Hubbs!  Many of us fellow Hubbs relations (my maiden name) traveled to Wellington ON for the big, annual pancake breakfast, in the driving rain, and to sample and purchase the tasty Hubbs Maple Syrup.   So someone, somewhere stuck an apostrophe before the end of the actual name and the sign has been that way ever since.  My cousin Miranda warned me before I saw it.  Good thing because she may have prevented a punctuation-induced heart attack.

Somewhere along the line an entire segment of society was led to believe that in order to make a word plural you must add an apostrophe before the s.  Yesterday I received an email telling me about the new “video’s” that were available.  (I can barely make my fingers type it incorrectly!)  At Trail’s End market here on the outskirts of London, virtually every sign has an incorrectly placed apostrophe. 

“Pork chop’s”

“Home baked pie’s”


I kid you not!  It’s enough to make a literate person a little kooky.  If this kind of thing also gets to you I suggest that you read NOTHING at Trail’s End.  Just aim for the booth you want, make your purchase, and flee. 

Everyone makes little errors here and there.  I once confused ion and eon in a hastily written email and the person I wrote it to has never let me forget it.  I’m not so retentive!  I forgive little errors because we all make them.  But the poorly placed apostrophe as a habit, well, that says a lot to me about you, I’m afraid and I do judge.  It’s difficult to tell another adult that they’re making a statement about their writing skills with this repeated infraction.  After all, I’m not anyone’s grammar cop.  But if I were, I’d be writing tickets so often I’d get a hand cramp.

2 thoughts on “Apoplectic over Apostrophes”

  1. Hi Lisa,
    I am so so glad I’m not the only one in the world who cares about misplaced apostrophes, and I love your alliterative heading!
    Is it driving you nuts, too, that people have stopped using the word ARE for plurals? Even at your former workplace this morning, SOMEone said “Here’s the top THREE stories.” I almost got out of bed and wrote an e-mail. Next, your former co-host did say: “Here are the top three stories.” Whew! You are missed.

  2. I have been known to use the marker in my purse to cross out the offending apostrophes and to add the missing articles when they’re needed. I frequently find signage from “Corporate Headquarters” which has been distributed to branch stores with gross misspellings. If these people don’t know what they are selling, why should I support their lack of general education. Many of these spelling & punctuation errors are from long before “Texting”, so that’s no excuse for ignorance of your language.
    I do blame educators for laxity in matters of grammar & spelling. They are just as important as being able to count and add. Maybe a basic passing grade in “Reading, Writing & Arithmetic” should be required before finishing high school but certainly before any degree from a college.

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