Most of us probably give little thought to the appropriate use of an apostrophe. I say that because I see it used incorrectly in printed messages on the television screen, in periodicals, and even online. And this stuff is written by writing professionals!
People plug in an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong and they don’t insert one when it’s required.
Here’s a primer to help you with this misused punctuation.
- Apostrophe shows possession. Example: writer’s block.
- Apostrophe indicates omission of letters or numbers. Examples: ’90s (notice the apostrophe precedes 90 rather than comes after it because the numbers 1 and 9 are omitted) and they’re (this is the contraction for they are and omits the letter a).
- Apostrophe forms some plurals. Example: She earned all A’s.
There are only three basic rules for using an apostrophe, so I ask, “How hard can it be to use an apostrophe?” Not so hard, really.