correct use of apostrophes

Wimbledon tennis commentators serve faulty phrase

So Wimbledon is over for another year and I’m trying to adjust to tennis-free days. One thing I won’t miss though is that horrible phrase ‘the business end’ that too many of the match commentators used too often.

I got tired of hearing, ‘well, we’re at the business end of the set now.’ Ugh. Not only is it plain ugly, but like all phrases that become over-used, it jars. You have to be very careful, in writing as well as in speech, about becoming reliant on certain distinctive words, phrases, and devices.

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Sign of the times?

A bemused friend thought she’d stumbled on an interesting new service from Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Andy Burham, the other day. “I genuinely stopped to work it out before it dawned on me that my angle of view cut out the first two letters,” she told me. “Mind you, I suppose these MPs do need to make some extra money any way they can now the expenses loopholes have been closed! He’s got his apostrophe in the right place, though…” It reminded me of ‘Lost Consonants’ those wonderful Graham Rawle play on word illustrations that ran in The Guardian newspaper.

The baking dog example below makes me smile.

However, my particular favourites are ‘He left the hospital with his arm in a plaster cat’, and ‘Sir Christopher had called a meeting of the hareholders’ – a particularly bizarre image of three businessmen holding hares!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What? No apostrophe in getaways? Get away!

Devere's cup largerOh dear. How much money must this hotel chain have spent on these promotional vending cups? And it’s not a bargain basement hotel chain either. It’s one that understandably seems to pride itself on its attentiveness and attention to detail.

Mistakes are very easy to make but sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and destroy the evidence rather than cheapen your brand.

End apostrophe abuse

There I was tucking into my porridge, when a leaflet from my local leisure centre dropped through the door.

I like having something to read with my breakfast so I started to flick through it. There was a rather large ad on the back page (so a good, prominent position that most likely cost quite a bit) and the heading read:

“Wedding Video’s.”

Oh dear. Not a good start. Misplaced apostrophes are my bugbear and for the life of me, I don’t understand why anyone thinks it’s correct to use one in a plural. Reading further down the ad, I came across:

“Children’s Party’s”.

Breakfast now totally ruined, and indigestion setting in, I decided to write about apostrophe abuse again.

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

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