Extra apostrophes rather infuriating

I have an issue with apostrophes: they’re everywhere. It’s almost impossible to find a pluralized word anywhere these days without seeing an apostrophe pinned to the end of it.

I have an issue with apostrophes: they’re everywhere. It’s almost impossible to find a pluralized word anywhere these days without seeing an apostrophe pinned to the end of it.

According to the 16-pound dictionary my father gave me many years ago, Page 87 gives a clear and reasonable explanation as to where an apostrophe should be placed.

An apostrophe has two distinct purposes:

l It is used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters. For example, cannot becomes can’t. Two letters have been omitted and the apostrophe is used to indicate this has been done.

l It is used to indicate possession or ownership. The dog’s tail (singular) or the dogs’ tails (plural).

I had for years been under the illusion you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand something as simple as that. But nowadays it seem’s you can’t read or see an advertisement anywhere without noticing an apostrophe dangling near the end of every word ending in the letter S.

As a result, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a surplus of them, that they must be used up at our earliest possible convenience.

Let’s take this another direction, for purpose of illustration.

Math was the four-letter word I dreaded throughout my school years. The difficulty I experienced was that you always had to get the answer right the first time. There are no near misses in mathematics. No second chances.

Two plus two equals four. Not three and three quarters or four and a sixteenth. The correct answer is four. Plain and simple. You either get it right or you get it wrong.

Such is not the case with the English language, however, with its kaleidoscope of possibilities.

Nowadays we can get away with scrawling willy nilly the crudest of literary tripe, and to hell with the consequences. Nowadays we can write as we damn well please and get away with it. No pinpoint accuracy required here.

The prevailing attitude seems to suggest that close is good enough.

A lot of people have obviously concluded that the apostrophe is nothing more than another dog’s breakfast, and who really cares where it fits in word construction?

Have it your way then, I say. Maybe in the end, mathematically challenged people such as myself can get away with less-than-perfect mathematics. Makes sense to me.

Bryon Christensen

Innisfail

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigates, destroys suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station was closed as they investigated Tuesday afternoon

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month