Apostrophe Protection Society wants to make sure we’re using apostrophe’s correctly

Come on now, don’t be perverse - that should be “want’s.

(I’ve honestly seen apostrophes used that way… I assumed they were speaking English as a second language, but…)

It really isn’t, though, in many cases - we’ve just forgotten what the rule actually is. In the case of apostrophes, they’re used for contractions only - we’ve just forgotten that nouns used to be made plural by adding an “es” to them, in favor of always using the contracted form.

(Likewise, some of the more egregious inconsistencies in English spelling have to do with the fact that the language jettisoned some letters…)


Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.


I am guilty of often using them when I shouldn’t, especially if I’m working on a story and typing things quickly. Most often I change a simple plural into a possessive for no reason. But it’s not my only common typo, and I’ll fix it all on edits, Apostrophe Protection Society be damned’s.



Long ago in the before times, I used to hang out a little in the usenet group alt.possessive.its.has.no.apostrophe, good people…

This seems to be all that remains online: The APIHNA World Dictionary


Autocomplete must be responsible for some of the increase in misused apostrophes - iOS still struggles with the difference between it’s and its.


A always assumed those kinds of apostrophes were meant as glottal stops?


I think that they are possessive.


Say what you will about Cthulhu, but that old fella sure knew his apostrophe etiquette.


Perhaps you shouldn’t throw stones. You haven’t turned yourself into the Apostrophe Protection Society, you have turned yourself in to the Apostrophe Protection Society.



Unless ‘it is’ can be used in the sentence, ‘its’ does not have an apostrophe.

Thank you and sorry.


[moved thi’s from the po’st about the dog with the leaf s’tuck to it’s nose, as it s’eemed more appropriate here]

And as his gaze moved down it also saw, over the first shop in the narrow street:


Well, why not deliver it? Hah! He was the postmaster, wasn’t he? What harm could it do? He slipped into the shop. A middle-aged man was introducing fresh carrots, or possibly carrot’s, into the life of a bulky woman with a big shopping bag and hairy warts. ‘Mr Antimony Parker?’ said ■■■■■ urgently. ‘Be with you in ju’st one moment, s’ir, I’m ju’st—’ the man began. ‘I just need to know if you are Mr Antimony Parker, that’s all,’ said ■■■■■. The woman turned to glare at the intruder, and ■■■■■ gave her a smile so winning that she blushed and wished just for a moment she’d worn make-up today. ‘Thats’ father,’ said the greengrocer. ‘He’s out the back, tackling a difficult cabbage—’

‘This is his,’ said ■■■■■. ‘Postal delivery’ He put the envelope on the counter and walked quickly out of the shop. Shopkeeper and customer stared down at the pink envelope. ‘S’.W.A.L.K?’ said Mr Parker. ‘Ooh, that takes me back, Mr Parker,’ said the woman. ‘In my day we used to put that on our letters when we were courting. Didn’t you? Sealed With A Loving Kiss. There was S.W.A.L.K., and L.A.N.C.R.E. and . . .’ she lowered her voice and giggled, ‘K.L.A.T.C.H., of course. Remember?’

‘All that pas’sed me by, Mrs Goodbody,’ said the greengrocer stiffly. 'And if it mean’s young men are s’ending our dad pink envelope’s with ‘swalk on them, I’m thankful for that. Modern time’s, eh?’ He turned and raised his voice. ‘Father!’

—Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

(Ye’s, the protagonist’s name i’s ■■■■■ von Lipwig.)


Came here to say there’s apostrophe abuse in a front page headline.


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i dont always apostrophe anymore. can’t maybe, but wouldnt at any rate.

still, the one that gets me is possessives for words ending in s. i was taught one thing, but it seems anybody’s guess

well, james’s or james’ guess maybe


Destroy the apostrophe!


From Neal Stephenson’s novel Reamde

“Hundred million…” Devin repeated, not loudly enough for Premjith to hear him. “I’ll bet within five years of T’Rain going live, we’ll have more K’Shetriae than there are Kshatriya.” “Now, that is—if memory serves—spelt with an apostrophe between an uppercase K and an uppercase S, is it not?” Don Donald asked.
“That’s right,” said Devin, and glanced at Geraldine, who nodded. “Now the apostrophe is used to mark an elision.” “A missing letter,” Pluto translated. “Like the o in ‘couldn’t.’ ” He snorted. “The second o, that is!” “Yes, just so,” the Don continued. “Which leads me to ask why the S in ‘K’Shetriae’ is capitalized. Should one infer from this that ‘Shetriae’ is a separate word that is a proper noun? And if so, what are we to make of the K-apostrophe? Is it, for example, some sort of article?” “Sure, why not,” said Devin. D-squared, having set the hook, was content with a few moments’ discreet silence, but Pluto erupted: “Why not? Why not?” Richard could only watch, like staring across a valley at an avalanche overtaking a skier.
“If it is an article,” said Don Donald, “then what is the T-apostrophe in T’Rain? What is the D-apostrophe in D’uinn? How many articles does this language have?” Silence. “Or perhaps the K, the T, and the D are not articles but some other features of the language.” Silence. “Or perhaps the apostrophe is being used to indicate something other than elision.” Silence. “In which case, what does it indicate?” Richard couldn’t bear it anymore. “It just looks cool,” he said. Don Donald turned toward him with a bright, fascinated look. Behind him, Richard could see everyone else collapsing; things had gotten a bit tense. “I beg your pardon, Richard?”
“Donald, look. You’re the only guy in this particular sector of the economy who has the whole ancient-languages thing down pat to the extent that you do. Everyone else just totally makes this stuff up. When some guy wants a word that seems exotic, he’ll throw in a couple of apostrophes. Maybe smash a couple of letters together that don’t normally go, like Q and Z. That’s what we’re dealing with here.” Silence in a different flavor. “I am aware that it doesn’t exactly jibe with your M.O.,” Richard added. “M.O.?” “Modus operandi.” “Mmm,” said the Don. “If you want to make up some languages,” offered Devin, “knock yourself out.”

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