We all know that person who turns up to every party but no one is entirely sure who invited them. Sure, they’re good company but there’s a time and a place and sometimes that time and place isn’t now.
Hello the apostrophe – sometimes it’s expected and sometimes it turns up unexpectedly; taking the writer from suave and credible, to “Seriously!? Even my daughter knows you don’t use an apostrophe there”.
The apostrophe has two main functions:
1. Merging words.
Don’t, won’t, isn’t – the apostrophe indicates missing letters, which saves characters, time and formality. Something that the majority of writers get right.
Niki’s chocolate, Alan’s team, Leo’s girlfriend…the apostrophe shows possession (hands off Alan, Niki is Leo’s girlfriend and that is Niki’s chocolate).
The apostrophe is a powerful little squiggle and therefore it’s no wonder that people want to use it in their writing but sometimes, the power goes to your head and people get a little apostrophe happy. Common mistakes include:
- 1980’s (a brilliant decade)
Unless these words own something (i.e. the OAP’s dinner), then the use of the apostrophe is not only wrong but it can turn you from credible to credilaughable.
It’s ok to Not Get it
Ask me to correctly use an apostrophe and I’ll squiggle over all of your work perfectly; ask me to cook risotto and you’ll get crunchy rice. We are all really good at some things and really bad at other things – and guess what, that’s ok.
People, like me, are here to proofread, amend or even write your work for you, meaning that you don’t have to stress about apostrophes and your audience can concentrate on your message, rather than comparing your grammatical skills to Dillan, aged 10. (I bet Dillan couldn’t cook a risotto either).
To find out more about how A Way With Words can help with your writing, click here.