Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why Don Ferguson is one of my heroes

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Grammar Gremlins: Know how to use apostrophe

By Don K. Ferguson
Sunday, December 28, 2008

The use of an apostrophe is troublesome for many.

It often is omitted where it is necessary or inserted where it isn't needed.

Placing the apostrophe in plural possessives causes one of the biggest problems. In a recent survey, nearly half of the 2,000 people polled thought "people's choice" was wrong, whereas it is correct.

An example of where an apostrophe is often incorrectly used is in names on residential mailboxes. Example: The Smith's.

You might, however, write about the Smiths' mailbox or the Smiths' house, using an apostrophe to indicate plural possession.

Perhaps the most common apostrophe mistake occurs with "it's." With the apostrophe, the term is a contraction for "it is" or "it has." Without the apostrophe, "its" is the possessive form of "it." The form "its' " is never right.

Don K. Ferguson's e-mail address is

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are definitely someone who thinks like I do. How refreshing today to find someone who truly cares about grammar!