If you thought I’d have a blog referencing the Associated Press and not talk about the rules of writing, you have another thing comin’.
WELCOME TO WRITING WEDNESDAYS! A weekly installment in which I discuss common mistakes you may want to avoid.
If you don’t want to avoid them, just don’t check my blog on Wednesdays. But please know I’ll continue to judge your mistakes. Deal?
To kick things off, we’re covering an especially timely topic: apostrophes.
Apostrophes are misused so often, I wonder if they were ever actually taught, or if we all just saw them in other people’s writing and were like, “Oh, so it comes before every ‘s’? Perfect. Can do!”
This is wrong.
Apostrophes serve two purposes:
- To indicate possession
- To form a contraction
Apostrophes do not make your last name plural.
You are not the Johnson’s, you’re just the Johnsons.
If you’re going to the Johnsons’, then you would stick the apostrophe on the end, to indicate you’re visiting the residence belonging to all of the Johnsons.
This same rule applies to days of the week. If I see one more “Saturday’s are for the boys”, I might quit the internet forever.
The only time you have to be careful about an apostrophe NOT indicating possession is when the thing belongs to an ‘it’.
- It’s = it is
- Its = what It owns
If you’re dead set on making that last name plural, it goes one of two ways:
- Anything ending with s, x, z, ch or sh — tack an ‘es’ onto the end.
- A name ending with literally any other letter (including y and th) — just add an ‘s’.
But really, what’s wrong with ‘the Johnson family’?
Title Credit: Grace ft. G-Eazy