What makes me crazy
Are apostrophes in signs.
Know the one’s I mean?
That is my haiku in honour of National Punctuation Day, September 24. (OK, I know an apostrophe is not punctuation, so it’s more of a haiku in honour of general grammatical attention to detail, railing against those “grocer’s apostrophes” often seen in signs like “tomatoe’s sold here.”)
Nevertheless, today is the 7th annual celebration of “the lowly comma, correctly used quotes, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.” So says founder Jeff Rubin, who founded this day to draw attention to America’s lapsed grammar skills.
Of course, some of you may not be fans of the “Oxford comma” (also known as the serial comma, that final comma before “and” in the quote above). The Canadian Press Stylebook, used by most of my clients, does not use this comma; The Canadian Writer’s Handbook, used by Royal Roads University, does. So I have to watch out for this.
But no matter; today we celebrate you, comma, and other honourable if misused punctuation.
…an apostrophe is not punctuation? What, then, is it?
Well, here is where The Canadian Writer’s Handbook is steering me wrong, as with the serial comma. It lists punctuation as the comma, semicolon, colon, dash, parentheses, brackets, period, question mark, exclamation point, ellipses. Period! I guess it considers the apostrophe to be a structural thing, like quotation marks. But the CP Stylebook DOES consider an apostrophe as punctuation. Go figure!
Ahh, the art of the English language!