Apostrophes and Plurals Don’t Mix

Warning: grammar rant ahead…


Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I don’t know what is so confusing about this, but I encounter this mistake many times a day. Because I had an excellent English teacher in high school who was a big influence on me (thank you, Mrs. Noland), I am known among my friends and colleagues as a bit of a grammar nazi. In fact, I am a proud member of the Facebook group I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. I am comfortable with this.

If you are writing anything for public consumption, using bad grammar and misspelling words makes you look, at worst, unintelligent, and, at best, careless.

While I can overlook many grammatical errors that result from misunderstanding subtler nuances of the English language, this particular rule is so easy, I can’t understand where the source of confusion comes from. Apostrophes are for contractions and possessives. Never for plurals.

I understand that keeping it’s vs. its straight can be tricky, since its is the one case where there is no apostrophe in a possessive, but this still has nothing to do with pluralization.

So get it straight, people. Please.

Repeat after me: I will never use an apostrophe when pluralizing a word.

Ahh, I feel much better.

I should also mention that I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar has been turned into a very amusing book, which my friend Amy was nice enough to give to me a few days ago – she knows me well. I highly recommend the hard copy version.

  • Stu

    Amen! This is SO annoying! Such basic stuff, I really don’t understand what’s so hard to grasp about such a very simple rule. For me it’s right up there with adding “.com” to adjectives. Am I annoyed.com? NO! Just annoyed! My mood is not an internet address! Grrr!

  • JujuBean

    You’re and your. Their, they’re and there. I, too, am a Grammar Queen and find it so annoying when people cannot distinguish between these! Also, best way to feel like a smart ass in an argument is to correct someone’s spelling (if you are writing to them). It annoys them greatly. LOL.