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We Have Depressing News for Grammar Nerds

Apostrophe society shuts down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2019 11:07 AM CST
A street sign naming St. Paul's Square with an apostrophe is seen in Birmingham, England, on Jan. 29, 2009, after a local government decided to stop using apostrophes in its street signs.   (AP Photo/David Jones, PA)

(Newser) – If you find yourself texting about "Johns scarf" or "Shellys hat" because it's so much easier than switching to your phone's punctuation menu to add an apostrophe, congratulations, you're part of the problem: The Apostrophe Protection Society is officially shutting down. The society was started by retired journalist John Richards, 96, in 2001 to preserve the proper use of the "much-abused" apostrophe, but in a statement on the official website, Richards says that while he and his supporters did their best, "the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won."

"Fewer organizations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in the English Language," he adds, though he also notes that at age 96, he's decided to cut back on his commitments. He noted that the website will remain up and running for now "for reference and interest." Among other things, the website includes these three rules for correctly using apostrophes, the Evening Standard reports: Use them to denote possession. Use them to stand in for a missing letter or letters. Don't use them to denote plurals. There are more rules, of course, when it comes to when you leave them out of words, and those who know the rules will appreciate the jokes on Twitter like this one from people announcing the shuttering: "Its over." (Read more apostrophe stories.)

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