Monday, 26 October 2009

The humble apostrophy and its uses

Following on from my post the other week, I see that the UK and Australia are talking about removing apostrophies from the language as it's too hard for children to learn the rules.

I personally find this quite a shocking state of affairs. The rules for apostrophies really aren't that hard to remember and follow.

Firstly, there is the apostrophy when letters are missed out when words are combined, ie. cannot becomes can't, will not becomes won't, it is, becomes it's. Note that the apostrophy is used in each case where the letters are missed out and nowhere else.

The second rule, whcih granted is harder (but not really all that much) is for them to show possession, i.e. the boy's ball means the ball belonging to the boy. However the boys' ball means the ball belonging to the boys.

Incorrectly placed apostrophies can dramatically change how the sentence reads and means. Please take the time to use them correctly after all it really isn't that hard.While this is very plainly put and I'm sure if you want to take the issue a bit further than have a look at this website which goes into greater detail about the use of apostrophies.

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