That Most Abused Apostrophe…

By Staff

Not one to sit in idle surveillance of the decline of proper punctuation, the lit-mag Taddle Creek has launched a bold (and humorous!) campaign against the maddening misuse of the common apostrophe.

Grammatically speaking, the apostrophe plays several roles, but it’s when the little fellow stands in for letters or numbers that’s got the folks at the Toronto-based magazine all worked up, citing atrocities such as Guns N’ Roses, Nice ‘n Easy, and rock ‘n’ roll, which “translates to a sarcastic letter ‘n’ framed by the word ‘rock’ on one side and ‘roll’ on the other.”

Here’s how it’s supposed to happen: Apostrophes always curve to the right, like this , and never to the left, like this , which is just a left-facing quote mark frontin’ like it can do the apostrophe’s job. For sassy ‘n’ superb results, apostrophes should go wherever letters and numbers are missing. Taddle Creek points a wagging finger at the computer, which assumes “the depression of the apostrophe key before a word is meant as a single left quotation mark, turns the apostrophe around, and ignorance is off and running.” Blasted technology.

But this isn’t just an idle rant: The magazine intends to send letters to parties guilty of apostrophe misuse, and encourages its readers to do the same. Any interesting responses will be printed in a future issue.

Julie Hanus

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