Tag Archives: apostrophes

when you need an apostrophe

I guess I’m unwittingly doing a series on apostrophes, because after last week’s rant about unnecessary ones, I was watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians and spotted this. I’m hoping this was just a typo, and that the caption writer doesn’t actually think a possessive doesn’t require an apostrophe.

A more advanced tip, which I’ve touched on before: Since the house belongs to Khloe and Lamar as a unit, “Khloe and Lamar’s” is preferred over “Khloe’s and Lamar’s.”

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an errant apostrophe

Oh, CVS. How I love your Extra Bucks, which allow me to purchase way more lip glosses and eyeshadows than anyone could use in one lifetime. I do not, however, love your grammar.

This is the kind of mistake that makes me judgmental, because I can’t fathom why people get it wrong. I sometimes see unnecessary apostrophes on a plural word ending in a vowel (like pajamas) or acronym (like CDs), because some people (wrongly) think you can’t pluralize those words without it. But what on earth would make you think the plural of “shot” needs an apostrophe?

There’s about a 1% chance the person who authored this sign meant “The flu shot’s here” and just dropped that initial “the.” But that would be oddly grandiose. Just ditch the apostrophe, dude.

p.s. I never get a flu shot. Am I tempting fate?

tim gunn’s typo

Usually I think Tim Gunn can do no wrong. I’ve especially enjoyed the campaign against rudeness he’s embarked upon in the last few weeks, calling out everyone from Taylor Momsen to Anna Wintour for diva-like behavior. But I just cringed to see the mistake in his recent Facebook post. It’s so common, but I expect better from such a conscientious character.

Can you spot the mistake? I’ve covered it before. And I even name-checked Project Runway in that post!

it’s or its?

A story on one of my favorite YouTube personalities made the classic it's/its error.

Every time I pick up my red pen, there’s a 95 percent chance I’m going to make this correction. Many people have a tough time determining when to use an apostrophe in “its.” This is understandable, considering that it’s another seemingly arbitrary rule. Grammarians somewhere decided that we needed to be able to distinguish between the contraction that means “it is” and the possessive form of “it.” But what they came up with is an easy rule to memorize: When you’re using the contraction, you need an apostrophe. For the possessive, you drop it.

Here are some examples to help you remember:

It’s a shame that so many famous men cheat on their wives.

Condé Nast ceased publication of its parenting magazine, Cookie, last fall.

Now that it’s down to three designers on Project Runway, I think the show definitely has its mojo back.

The next time you write “it’s,” take a moment and think, “Do I mean ‘it is’?” If so, you’re good to go.