Category Archives: Punctuation – Apostrophes

Season’s greetings or seasons’ greetings?

Season’s greetings.  You are sending the greetings of the season (just one season), so it’s ’s. Don’t worry – after you’ve written something ten or twenty times, your mind starts doubting how to spell your own name, let alone remember the rules of the possessive apostrophe. And when organisations from government departments to educational institutions

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Apostrophes: their other use—contractions

Apostrophes and contractions Part of the reason that people find apostrophes confusing is that we use them in two different ways: to show possession (or, as I prefer to say, close association) between two things to show where letters have been left out of word or where it has been contracted (sometimes the contracted word

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Apostrophes and place names

In Australia, it is quite simple, if ungrammatical and plain stupid. A bureaucratic body ( the Geographical Names Board) decided back in 1966 that no Australian place names should contain apostrophes.  This means we are stuck with wrong-looking (and, in my view, plain wrong) names such as Devils Marbles (thankfully, we can use the Indigenous

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The possessive apostrophe: plural words and names

Many people think about apostrophes in the same way they think about getting stuck in a patch of cactus: they’d rather not. But possessive apostrophes for plural words and names are relatively simple (certainly compared with singular personal names).  There is straightforward two-step process: Step 1:  Add an apostrophe after the end of the plural

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The possessive apostrophe: singular words, Part 2 – personal and ‘ancient’ names

Ancient and modern names The goddess Venus is an example of ancient name but is Venus Williams considered an ancient or a modern name? If you read grammar reference books, you will see that a different rule applies to what are called ‘ancient’ names and sometimes to personal names that end in s, x or

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