Archive for the ‘The apostrophe’ Category

Apostrophe rule: 100s or 100′s?

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

This addendum to my previous blog entry on apostrophes is dedicated to the graphic designer friend of mine who recently posted a cry for help on Facebook, asking which was correct: 100′s or 100s.

Naturally, her writer friends told her to ditch the apostrophe, which she did. Sorry to distress any literate people out there, but I have to inform you that she has since revealed that she was told to put them all back in. (more…)

Grammar brush-up: Rules for indicating possession with an apostrophe

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Having worked with more than my share of tiresome subs who clearly quite enjoy getting their knickers in a twist about other people’s apostrophe crimes, I don’t want to get too snarky about the rights and wrongs of this important little punctuation mark.

After all, you can’t blame people for not knowing how to punctuate if they’ve never been taught how to do it. (I tend to agree with the journalism teacher who once told me she could tell a student’s age from their punctuation. Few people under forty have a clue, because they had the misfortune to go to school after it was decided that grammar was too elitist to teach).

But if you care about your business you need to know that you will be judged if you get it wrong. (more…)

St Thomas’ Hospital or St Thomas’s Hospital?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

In the comments to a previous post, reader katypea asks the following:

“St. Thomas’ Hospital” (as per the directional signage around Waterloo) or “St. Thomas’s Hospital” (as per my sheer editorial common sense). Please tell me i won the arguement with The Boyfriend last night…?

It’s an apostrophe question many people struggle with, so I thought my answer warranted a post of its own. (more…)

A good reason not to pay your Council Tax

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Thanks to reader Blake Evans for alerting me to this story about Birmingham City Council banning the apostrophe in its road signs.

A tad worrying that the head of the city’s transport scrutiny committee, Councillor Martin Mullaney, seems to think that a basic grasp of the apostrophe is an advanced level skill.

Don’t know what the schools are like in Birmingham, Martin, but I had mastered it before the age of ten.

Possibly the most embarrassing apostrophe crime ever

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Note to the The National Literacy Trust: when you’re bewailing the poor grammar and punctuation skills of the UK population, do try and get it right. (more…)

What happens when you don’t bother to get a writer in

Monday, October 27th, 2008

This, from a full-page ad for Hill & Knowlton, who describe themselves as “a leading international communications consultancy”. I spotted it in the “Thought Leader Series” supplement, which came with a recent issue of “PR Week”: (more…)

The apostrophe: a friend for life

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Pity the poor apostrophe. Whenever he threatens to make an appearance you find yourself coming over all nervous. It’s nothing personal – you just can’t help feeling a little intimidated around a character so hard to comprehend. In fact, that little chap with the scarily (more…)