I’m about to lose my mind. Seriously.
I’ve talked about this on my blog before, but I just can’t let this go. Nope. I just can’t.
It probably comes from being a writer, but all this apostrophe madness is making me Nuts. Yes. With a capital ‘N’.
What is apostrophe madness, you say? Well, it’s this:
- It’s isn’t Its, and Its isn’t It’s. It’s with an apostrophe is a contraction and is the short form for it is or it has. Its without an apostrophe is the possessive pronoun of it. Examples:
- It’s raining outside. (Because you can say It is raining outside.)
- I think it’s a terrible idea. (Because you can say I think it is a terrible idea.)
- Oh man, it’s been a long day. (Because you can say Oh man, it has been a long day.)
- The cat ate its food. (Because you can’t say The cat ate it is food.)
- The tree loses its leaves in the Fall. (Because you can’t say The tree loses it is leaves in the Fall.)
If you are talking about plurals (nouns that are more than one), no apostrophe is needed. Examples:
- Grills for sale. (NOT Grill’s for sale).
- I brought candles to the party. (NOT I brought candle’s to the party.)
- Temperature highs for today will be cooler than normal. (NOT Temperature high’s for today will be cooler than normal.)
- Acronyms don’t use an apostrophe either, with one exception. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, “If you can stop thinking of the spelled-out meaning of the acronym and just treat the acronym itself as a word with its own meaning, you should be able to add that little s without fretting.” So read this carefully:
- IOUs (not IOU’s)
- MDs (not MD’s)
- RFPs (not RFP’s)
- The exception? If you have an acronym with periods, you’d use the apostrophe. In these cases having no apostrophe would look confusing because a period is normally viewed as the end of a sentence:
- P.A.’s (not C.P.A.s)
- M.D.’s (not M.D.s)
- C.C.J.’s (not C.C.J.s)
- First names that are plural don’t use an apostrophe. EVER. EVER. EVER. Names signify a noun, and pluralized nouns don’t use an apostrophe. Period. (I threw in a funny there. Did you catch it?). If your first name ends in “s, x, z, ch, sh”, you add an “es”. Examples:
- How many Annas are in your class? (NOT How many Anna’s are in your class?)
- There are a lot of Mikes in the world. (NOT There are a lot of Mike’s in the world.)
- I know three Riches at work. (NOT I know three Rich’s at work.)
- Last names that are plural don’t use an apostrophe. EVER. EVER. EVER. And if your last name ends in “s, x, z, ch, sh”, you add an “es”. Examples:
- Merry Christmas from the Millers. (NOT Merry Christmas from the Miller’s.)
- Happy New Year from the Joneses. (NOT Happy New Year from the Jones’s.)
- The Kennedys are hosting a party! (NOT The Kennedy’s are hosting a party!)
- Brand names don’t use an apostrophe if you’re talking about more than one. Examples:
- The plural of the Blackberry phone, for example, would be Blackberrys and NOT Blackberry’s.
- Likewise, you’d say, “I have two iPads” and NOT “I have two iPad’s”.
- And Victoria’s Secret really had a winner with Body, which would pluralize like this: Victoria’s Secret was showing off its Bodys (NOT Body’s).
- (And we won’t get into certain company trademarks here, a la Apple, which specify how the public is supposed to really pluralize their product – because people just don’t speak that way.) 🙂
- Numbers are simple: you never add an apostrophe to make them plural. So:
- He was born in the 1980s. (NOT He was born in the 1980’s).
- Clients in their 60s will benefit most from this program. (NOT Clients in their 60’s will benefit most from this program.)
- That airline is going to build more 747s. (NOT That airline is going to build more 747’s.)
There. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.
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