Tag: apostrophe usage

To ‘postrophe, or not to apostrophe

Continuing in my campaign for better apostrophe use comes this news story about a man in England who has taken the unusual path of adding apostrophes to signs.

The most significant problems with apostrophe use involve the overuse – but this guy wants to ensure they don’t die out altogether…

“The 62-year-old’s defence of the apostrophe comes after Birmingham council announced it would scrap the punctuation from council signs for the sake of ‘simplicity’.”
Mr Gatward, who served for four years in the Gordon Highlanders in the 1960s, is not just a campaigner for the apostrophe.

He will not join the ‘five items or less’ queue at the supermarket, in protest that the sign should read ‘five items or fewer’.

He also gets annoyed when people-neglect the ‘Royal’ in ‘Royal Tunbridge Wells’, and was vexed when he saw a major chain store advertising sales with signs saying ‘until stocks last’ rather than ‘while stocks last’.

‘I fought for the preservation of our heritage and our language but some people seem happy to let that go. I’m not,’ he said.

Read more here

Sadly, Brisbane’s council has the opposite problem and probably should be following the flow chart. Its error is set in stone.

Here’s a photo dad snapped on his iPhone of a new footbridge.

It’s in the sentence:

“Although many changes have occurred along the river, it’s spiritual significace endures.”

Apostrophic flow chart

If you’re still struggling with apostrophe use check out apostrophe.me for a series of flow charts and nicely explained graphics. Here are some of them. There are a couple more.

Here’s the golden rule of apostrophe use.

Grammar tips from Strongbad

I must confess that I haven’t watched a StrongBad email in a long time (possibly three years) I look forward to a day or two spent catching up on the archives. But StrongBad has been indelibly itched into my psyche whenever I’m trying to decide where to use apostrophes… particularly in the case of its v it’s.

Here’s a little song that will help you remember that when its is possessive it’s just i-t-s and when it’s a contraction it’s “i-t apostrophe s”.

That’s from this little collection of grammar songs.

I think I’ve posted this before (some time ago) – but it continues to be useful.


It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow – or perhaps Mothers’ Day – depending on your marital status – or indeed your understanding of the definition of the day. Perhaps you’ve forgotten to buy a present. Well, you’re out of time. Unless you buy something online – and perhaps, given that you’ve forgotten your mum, you should buy a clock. Here’s some fun ones from around the interwebs – and where to buy them. The good ones aren’t cheap.

Binary Clock

Vaguely descriptive clock

Code clock

The “back to university maths” clock

The rolling narrative clock

The Digital Bookshelf clock

The magic bowl of water clock