It’s WORD WAR time! Let’s examine apostrophes, as they seem to be very widely misused and abused! Apostrophes are primarily used for three things: Let’s go…easy to more complex.
1) Contractions. Apostrophes replace omitted letters. In the phrase “They’re back,” the apostrophe replaces the “a” in the omitted word “are.” “Don’t do that.” The apostrophe replaces the “o” in the omitted word “not.”
2) To show possession of a noun. “That is the dog’s collar.” The collar belongs to the dog.
3) To form an “awkward” plural. “There are two m’s and two c’s in accommodation.” Without that tiny punctuation mark, ease of readability goes down and the sentence misunderstood.
Lastly, and super confusing for folks, is the use of the apostrophe when forming possession with a proper noun ending in “s.” Then it breaks down even further depending on whether that noun is singular or plural.
Examples: “That looks like James’s car”: singular noun here. However, what if James was the last name of the people living under the same roof? It would read: “The dinner was at the James’ home.”
This conversation gets deeper and a bit more complex. Feel free to reach out if you’d like more details and examples. For now, we will leave it right here!