I am not a linguist, a grammarian, or a teacher, nor do I play any of those on television. However, I am a good speller (city-wide champion in eighth-grade back in 1976 – – you do the math), and I try not to mistreat the English language too much. One thing I am especially careful not to do is to abuse apostrophes (commas and dashes are on their own, as you can see).
Sitting through a presentation yesterday I nearly lost consciousness after being beaten about the head and shoulders by apostrophes strewn around PowerPoint slides like dead bugs on a windshield (“tech’s” for “technicians,” “x’s” for “times,” for example). Whenever I see an apostrophe being abused I feel its (no, No, NO! not “it’s”) pain. A sign in someone’s front yard on the way home:
Puppy’s for sale
I wanted to march up to the front door and demand what belonged to the puppy that they were now offering for sale, and how the puppy felt about this. I didn’t, of course, because I really like having my own teeth (in my mouth, that is).
And in the supermarket bakery section:
But the worst offense to apostrophes, I believe, is in mistaking the second person possessive pronoun for the contraction of “you are.” I cringe when I see “your welcome” (what?) or “your my hero.”
Stop! Just stop!! Panda says NO!
Alright, alright, I admit it, I’m a stickler and a pedant. We all have our faults. Just ask Lynne Truss.