Say It Aint So: The Movement to Kill the Apostrophe

A thundering “No!” is my response. Meanings and sentence constructions also depend on punctuation marks. And the apostrophe’s (there you go, I had to use it) function is not to form emoticons (geezus!). Could it be because hash tags don’t allow apostrophes? Tsk, tsk…


Today is the 10th annual National Punctuation Day, a high holiday on nerd calendars across these great United States. Its stated purpose is to be a celebration of underappreciated, misused marks like the semicolon and “the ever mysterious ellipsis.” But a better-known piece of punctuation has been getting some apocalyptic press and deserves attention on this day of celebration: the apostrophe.

Writers have renewed a question that has long plagued conservative grammarians, particularly since text messages came on the scene: Is it curtains for the apostrophe? “Trend lines don’t look all that promising for the long-term security of apostrophes as a standard in written English,” wroteSlate’s Matthew Malady, noting that the England-based Apostrophe Protection Society is on high alert. In his title he poses the rhetorical question of whether apostrophes are necessary, and in his subtitle he provides an answer: “Not really, no.”

There is some evidence to support…

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