Thou Shalt Not Be Scared of Apostrophes

comic5 copyjpeg
comic5 copyjpeg

My first love is writing.

My passion is editing.

And I adore a little humor in life.

The goal of this blog is to educate and delight its readers. And keep me sane.

I chose to do our first comic on apostrophes for the obvious reason: people leave them out because they don’t know how to use them.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

“Apostrophes are used to pluralize words, right?”

Nay.

Let’s see what The Chicago Manual of Style has to say.

Apostrophes are used to form contractions. A contraction is simply two words collapsed into one. For example, can’t, don’t, won’t, haven’t, and it’s.

Easy, right?

Next, apostrophes are used to mark the possessive. The possessive shows the reader that someone or something owns the thing that comes after the possessive. For example, the skunk’s odor, my aunt’s bunion, the squirrel’s buck teeth, and an elephant’s trunk.

To make the possessive, just add an ‘s to the end of the noun. Super easy!

Now, what if the noun is plural and possessive?

I think this is where people completely freak out and run as far away from the apostrophe as they can.

Please don’t do that. Just take your plural noun and add an apostrophe after it (if it’s possessive). For example, the tables’ legs, the nations’ flags, and the ushers’ suits.

Finally, apostrophes are used to make a possessive of singular nouns that already end in s. Examples of singular nouns that end in s are: class, James, bus, and hippopotamus. So, what happens if the hippopotamus owns a guitar? The hippopotamus’s guitar fell in the water. What happens if James broke his arm? James’s cast bothered him.

I hope this helped with any confusion you may have regarding apostrophes. What should the next blog be about? Redundancies? Exclamation points? Best books on writing? You tell me.