Most plurals don't take an apostropheA blog post suggests that organization’s forget about people. A menu lists stir fry’s. An email warns about using knock off’s rather than original iPhone parts. A gift shop sells a charming sign about Cat’s leaving paw prints on your heart.

As Grammar Monster says, “Don’t add an apostrophe to a word just because the word ends with the letter s. This is a common mistake, and it is a grammatical howler.”

Thanks to those recent howlers that popped up in my life, I’m marking National Punctuation Day, September 24, by looking at apostrophes.

Jeff Rubin founded this day in 2004 to encourage literacy because he was concerned that language skills were declining. He calls it “A celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.”

It would be nice to say “never create a plural with an apostrophe,” but unfortunately, sometimes you do. The September issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, takes a look at those situations and other unusual places to use apostrophes, or not.

Wordnerdery is a quick read about words, effective/expressive writing, newsletters and more. Are you a subscriber yet? If yes, thanks for reading! If not, you can sign up right now. In keeping with Canada’s anti-spam laws and just plain good manners, you can easily unsubscribe any time.

Related reading:
My haiku about punctuation for another National Punctuation Day
Seasonal apostrophe abuse
The challenge: Use 13 punctuation marks in three sentences