Don’t bother with apostrophes

If I could give advice to this Yahoo! Shine writer, it would be this: Honey, get yourself a competent editor. If your employer won’t spring for one, then just give up on one part of writing: Give up apostrophes. Just don’t use them — ever. You have no idea when to use that little character, so don’t even try.

There are lots of other things about writing that you’re unfamiliar with, too. But start with the apostrophe. Then maybe you can move on to the slash (which functions as a logical or, not an and). See this example here? If you didn’t try to use apostrophes, I wouldn’t call you a grammatical moron for not including one in parents’ and for using it to make ’60s and ’70s plural. All I can think of is how you can’t punctuate, you leave out words, and you think Time Life has a slash in it:

Again with using the apostrophe to form a plural! (It should be moms and ’70s.) You might also consider learning to do a Google search for words like bar mitzvah (it’s not a proper noun) and places like Mount Airy Lodge. While you’re at it, try learning the difference between ad (short for advertisement) and add (a whole ‘nother word). But you got the hyphen right in singer-songwriter. You may not be consistent, but at least half the time you’re right.

If you knew how to do an Internet search, you’d see that the actors are Aidan Quinn and Sam Shepard and that a man is a widower. (A widow is a woman who’s lost her husband.) And, honey, do you need more evidence that you should just stop using apostrophes entirely?

Another misspelling? Why am I not surprised? It’s Christopher Robin:

OK, I admit to being incredibly picky, but there’s a comma missing here:

The character was Steven Keaton on “Family Ties,” a favorite show of mine. Also a favorite of mine? The correct placement of punctuation:

The comma belongs before the closing quotation mark (at least it does in the States), Barbra Streisand’s name is misspelled, and the Bee Gees could use a little space:

So, maybe you need to forget punctuation completely. Just don’t use it. I was going to suggest you also forget trying to spell names correctly, but I see you’ve already done that.

3 Responses to “Don’t bother with apostrophes”

  1. Pardon My Rust Says:

    I could tell without going to the actual article that this was a Piper Weiss special. How does yahoo let this out in public?

  2. Laura Says:

    The large number of mistakes in a single article is a hallmark of Piper’s. She once wrote one article with more than 50 errors, although some of them were admittedly minor. I think that she’s had the benefits of an editor recently, but obviously this piece was posted before it was edited.

  3. Blackthorn | movie reviews and ratings, movie trailers coming soon, movie dvd releases Says:

    […] Lunes 16/07/2012NexusSam Shepard breathes again – theatre review.Neil Simon On Playwriting IIDon’t bother with apostrophes html { margin-top: 0px !important; } * html body { margin-top: 0px !important; } […]

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