Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Apostrophe S

Okay, I’m going to admit it; apostrophe s trips me up daily. Just when I think I’ve got it nailed, I misuse it, and someone QUICKLY calls me on it. So I misuse commas too, but nobody really cares about them; they’ll overlook them but not apostrophes no way!!

I don’t depend on spellcheck but often times I’ll see that squiggly line, fix it to what it recommends, only to have a grammar pro point out I misused the apostrophe S. I’m going to work on just where that comma goes in quotation marks also, but right now I need to work on apostrophe S!

My son said to me last week, “Mom, the apostrophe S shows possession.”
I really need my son to teach me what I learned in grade school? Apparently!

I found this helpful grammar site:  Grammar Book 

Did you know there are THIRTEEN rules of the apostrophe??? Well color me blonde!

I’m going to practice, refresh, if you will:
Rule 1
Use the apostrophe with contractions. The apostrophe is always placed at the spot where the letter(s) has been removed.
My example:
It’s – it is
Doesn’t – does not
Isn’t – is not

Rule 2 

Use the apostrophe to show possession. Place the apostrophe before the s to show singular possession.

This is where my confusion begins.
Their example:
one actress's hat
one child's hat
Ms. Chang's house

My example:
Billy’s hat
Mr. Roper’s hat

NOTE: Although names ending in s or an s sound are not required to have the second s added in possessive form, it is preferred.

Their example:
Mr. Jones's golf clubs
Texas's weather
Ms. Straus's daughter

Confused! I was taught that we’d add an apostrophe AFTER the S. See rule FIVE.

Ms. Jones’ house
Texas’ weather

But if I read what Grammar Book is saying, I’m wrong.
Rule 3
Use the apostrophe where the noun that should follow is implied.
Their example:
This was his father's, not his, jacket.

My example:
His father’s home never felt like his own.

Rule 4

To show plural possession, make the noun plural first. Then immediately use the apostrophe.

two boys' hats two women's hats
two actresses' hats
two children's hats
Okay, there’s the S’ !!! Are they TRYING to confuse us? Is this legal?!? (denote sarcasm)
One more:

Rule 5

Do not use an apostrophe for the plural of a name.

We visited the Sanchezes in Los Angeles.
The Changs have two cats and a dog.

I have no examples! I need to go off and drink all of this in. I’ll continue tomorrow with the rest of the confusion. Don’t worry, I’m just refreshing what I THOUGHT I already knew!



benning said...

Apostrophes are easy; hyphens are hard! Good post! Wheeee! :D

joni said...

I'm not afraid of them!

Next I'm onto the comma, and then, the dreaded quotation marks! :)