Archive for the The apostrophe Category

Apostrophe beginner to apostrophe expert!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

I’ve just launched a new online course – and it’s all about the apostrophe!

Sign up to the blog today to get this course at a special introductory offer of just £8.

I want to master the apostrophe for only £8


apostrophe course box

Why master the apostrophe? Well, a single misplaced apostrophe in that CV or that manuscript you’ve sweated over for years? It could undo all your hard work in a single moment. Because if there’s one thing employers, editors and educated readers will judge you on, it’s how you use the apostrophe.

An effective way to master the apostrophe once and for all

Let’s face it, memorising a book on punctuation is never going to be the most exciting or effective way of mastering the apostrophe. That’s why I created a comprehensive but pacy online course with lots of exercises so you can practise what you’ve learned.

In English Grammar: Apostrophe Beginner to Apostrophe Expert, I guide you from the basics to professional mastery, step by step.

You’ll start by mastering the two main uses of this tricky little punctuation mark – and build up your knowledge from there.

By the end of the course, you’ll not only be using the apostrophe with ease and confidence. You’ll also have a more in-depth knowledge than the vast majority of professional writers, editors and proofreaders.

This comprehensive course gives you:

  • Clear explanations and illustrations of the most important uses of the apostrophe
  • Loads of quizzes and exercises throughout the course, to help you cement your knowledge
  • Step-by-step guidance on avoiding the most embarrassing apostrophe blunders
  • Simple ways to avoid common confusions – like the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “who’s” and “whose”
  • Advice on how to prevent that rogue, credibility-zapping apostrophe from slipping through the net
  • Answers to advanced questions, like: 100’s or 100s? CVs or CV’s? What to do with names and places that end in “s”?
  • A downloadable “cheat sheet” you can refer to again and again

Remember, you can get this course for just £5 until midnight on Friday, 4 March 2016 so act now!

Master the apostrophe for only £8


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.