The Apostrophe War
OK, some will call me picky but, hey, what’s up with the apostrophe? It seems to me that a lot of people feel that if a word ends in an “s”, an apostrophe is required …. somewhere. Before? After? I read an ad once about a Flea Market coming to town with “100 of its’ (sic) best dealers.” Further in the ad, they proclaimed “bargain shopping at it’s (sic) best!” I suppose the writer thought he might as well cover all bases. Stick the apostrophe before, stick it after, what difference does it make? Exactly what is the word its’ supposed to mean?? That’s a new one on me (and I hope to every educated person reading this blog.)
(1) USE one for contractions: I don’t know of an easier rule.
(2) USE one to show ownership: Mark’s blog is brilliant.
(3) DON’T use it when the possessive pronoun ALREADY shows ownership: Theirs is the fourth house. The cat licked its paw.
(4) NEVER use it for plurals. I baked cookies for Lewis. (Here, there are 2 exceptions…read on.)
(5) USE it for plurals of letters and numbers: There are 4 A’s on her report card! He has only size 8’s in stock.