Some Additional Apostrophe Catastrophes

This was the headline of a recent LinkedIn post: Cryptocurrency do’s, don’ts and dangers. Think before you use the apostrophe and you’ll do it correctly: Dos, don’ts and dangers. At least it wasn’t danger’s in the original.

And, without catastrophic apostrophes, it is No ifs, ands or buts.

The possessive forms of women, children and men also seems to cause problems, because they take ‘s (which is more usually attached to a singular noun, not a plural one). As a result, women’s hockey, children’s toys and men’s room.

The compounds menswear, womenswear and childrenswear are rather ugly compressed versions of two-word forms with proper apostrophes (men’s wear etc.), but a trip to a local department store will probably confirm that one-word, apostrophe-less compounds have become the norm. (Although on the computer screen, only menswear appears without a squiggly red line of warning under it.)

It was (almost) certainly a one-off, or at least an idiosyncratic error, but I’ve encountered ‘though. No: it’s though or although.

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

Start the discussion!

Leave a Reply

(Your email address will not be published or distributed)