Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WNW: The Apostrophe Song!

This error drives. Me. Crazy.

I addressed the issue right before Christmas one year begging people to NOT use an apostrophe on their gift tags (such as, "to the Smith's") because that implies ownership. (To the Smith's what? Their dog?)

With gift tags and such, we're talking PLURAL situations. Plural.

(Say it with me. PLLLLUUUURRRAAAL.) Plurals take an S.

And they take NO APOSTROPHE. That's possessive (ownership).

Therefore, you're giving cookies to a group of people all called Smith. Hence, the Smiths.

And you go to the store to by a bunch of bananas, plural. So you don't use an apostrophe, because that would make a single banana own something.

So: NOT banana's (you're buying the banana's . . . peels?) but bananas.

I found yet another fun video that showcases a peeve. Enjoy!

In other news, Lisa Loo over at Is That a Garage Door on My Ceiling? has moved into her house FROM a garage (hence the title of her blog).

She totally rocks. In totally unrelated news, she put my blog button on her side bar. :-D

She has a new problem: since her blog name no longer fits, she needs a new one and is hosting a contest for it. Check out the details HERE.


Cynthia said...

Woo Hoo! You finally showcased a grammar mistake that I rarely make! Thanks for pointing this out for those of us who really need the reminders.

Kristina P. said...

Love it!

I am pretty good at this one, but one night, I was tired, and I left a comment on my friend's blog, full of unnecessary apostrophe's. ;)

Jenny P. said...

This one make's me nut's too. I mean really. How many way's can one person use apostrophe's inappropriately? I never make apostrophe mistake's. :)

Sherri said...

Thanks Annette--but now I am paranoid!! I've always put an apostrophe after our last name on tags and letters. Please tell me that if your last name ends in s then it's okay. Schloss' looks so much better than Schlosss or Schlosses and "The Schloss" without anything sounds wrong.

Susan Anderson said...

This is one thing that annoys me more than any other. I just don't get it. What are people thinking?


PS. For Sherri...If I were you, I would put "The Schloss Family" if you don't like the look of "The Schlosses."

PPS. I love Lisa's blog, too. She is great, and I'm thrilled for her that she has a new home.

Laura said...

That's it. I'm putting it in my will that someone WILL edit my tombstone.

My first reaction to this video was shock, followed by laughing out loud at the tombstone and finally, nausea. Really? That many people have permanent signs with an apostrophe in or not in the right place? It's scary. And a news agency. Wow.

Annette Lyon said...

I second Sue--SCHLOSSES is correct, or just do SCHLOSS Family.

Laura, True story: a woman in my neighborhood called for help proofing her son's headstone--wasn't sure where the punctuation went and didn't want to mess it up on something so important and personal. I was touched. (And glad she called--she DID have a few errors)

Erin said...

Apostrophes in wrong places drive me crazy too.

When I reread the sentence I just wrote, I had three typos. Apparently typos don't seem to bug me. Unless I reread what I write.

Sadie said...

So funny! It's definitely a pet peeve of mine. And misused quotation marks too!!

Here is a funny site that I like:

And this one is my favorite. I can spend hours laughing until my gut hurts there.

Annette Lyon said...

Oh--the unnecessary quotation marks one. LOVE it. It's hysterical.

(Go there if you haven't, people!)

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Oh I love it! This is a huge pet peeve of mine as well.

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T.J. said...

I hate this error. It's like nails on a chalkboard for my eyes. I don't understand how difficult it is for people to understand that you just add an s to a plural word. Did they really pass 3rd grade?

TisforTonya said...

I have to admit that I will occasionally switch a sentence around entirely to refer to the Dogs that belong to the Schloss family rather than trying to use all of the apostrophes correctly.

If I'm ever at a loss I ask my 3rd grader :)

Lara Neves said...

Love these videos you're finding!

And this one bugs me to no end. Try having a surname like Neves. Nobody knows what to do with it.

We get "The Neves" (which one?)
"The Neves's" (ugh)
"The Neves'"
and "The Neves Family" (which is a totally acceptable way to bypass the difficulty...)

But I have never once had someone write "The Neveses" which is, technically, correct.


Amanda said...

okay, since you brought up plurals and is a question for ya!

I married into a family with a last name that is plural! Sellers

Today, I was trying to make a tag for my family's bucket to be used at a home school co-op. I'm always I say The Sellers quite simply or do I need to add an apostrophe to show it's our bucket? Or do I not add an apostrophe unless I am stating exactly what is ours? and if I do add an apostrophe where does it go? :) I opted for The Sellers Family, which I so often do since I don't know how to add onto our name!

Is there ever a time I'll need to use an 'es' on the end of our name? or since the name is already plural do we just leave it at that?

Annette Lyon said...

Amanda, Technically, you'd put the ES at the end (the name isn't REALLY plural--it just has an S at the end). To make it possessive, just add an apostrophe (unless you add an extra syllable when you say it: Sellers-es, which I don't).

I'd go with "the Sellers family," something I do for us--but for the opposite reason. People always assume my last name has an S at the end, and using "from the Lyons" confuses them. "The Lyon Family" keeps it clear.

Stephonie said...

This is awesome!
It boggles my mind how many "Professionals" have it wrong. :)

I admit to being guilty with not always knowing if it is it's or its. I think I have looked it up about 30 times in the past month. I don't know why I can't remember which way it goes. Other than that it is pretty simple to follow.

Rebecca Blevins said...

I actually winced when I saw the headstone.

I read the other day where someone said that in writing fiction, you should write, for example, "James's onion" instead of "James'onion" or whatever. I think it was James Frey's book on writing a good novel, I'm not sure at the moment.

Do editors still prefer using the possessive that way in novel writing?


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