5 things you should know about apostrophes

This seemingly innocuous punctuation mark can be the downfall of any PR pro. These tips will turn the apostrophe from a foe into a friend.

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Although the apostrophe may not seem like a big deal, it’s caused a lot of confusion and heartache for those who love proper grammar.

Tomorrow marks the resurrection of our #RaganSocial Twitter chat, and Mignon Fogarty—otherwise known as Grammar Girl—will join me to discuss corporate writing and avoiding grammar gaffes.

Fogarty recently interviewed Ammon Shea, author of “Bad English,” about the history of the apostrophe. When Fogarty asked how writing over the decades had changed, Shea said the following:

Several decades ago you would write 1950’s (with the apostrophe) and that is generally not the case now . . . A lot of department stores are starting to drop their apostrophes … I just noticed that Marshalls department store does not use an apostrophe, but I’m pretty sure they used to . . . I’ve seen a number of old newspaper articles referring to Marshall’s where it did have an apostrophe. … I think it would not be surprising if this happened more and more frequently since we do not use apostrophes in typing URLs, and then once you see that you don’t need it, it’s very easy to do away with it in other contexts.


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