A History of Possession

My students always struggle with apostrophe use. Indeed, it’s probably the number one writing — error? problem? nonstandard usage? — I see in my students’ writing.

My guess is that apostrophe usage is on the way out. I suspect a hundred years from now, English writers will not use apostrophes. And that’s okay. I’m not someone who’s like, “Oh no, English is devolving, it’s terrible, everyone is stupider now.” Language changes. That’s what’s so cool about it.

But I do like apostrophes. I think they make writing easier to understand. I’m sad they might be disappearing.

So here is a history of apostrophes.

Read More A History of Possession

The Grammar Bitch: The Case of the Errant Apostrophe

Oh, the apostrophe. No other piece of punctuation has the ability to inspire such rage in me. One might wonder why a silly little mark, taking up just the tiniest bit of space on the page, would make me so angry. Well, I’ll tell you why. Very few people seem to know how to use the apostrophe correctly. Apostrophes are always popping up places they aren’t supposed to, and no one seems to notice. Read More The Grammar Bitch: The Case of the Errant Apostrophe