I can’t help it, I’m feeling quite offended over the misuse and abuse of the poor pitiful apostrophe today. Why oh why do people believe that you form the plural possessive of a word ending in S simply by attaching an apostrophe?

My husband is working with a recruiter on a document detailing his experience. I helped him write it. I wrote it correctly: “Mr. Harris’s extensive experience blah blah..” The recruiter sent back an edited document (some of his edits were quite amazing, really, and I learned something about business writing just from reading the way he phrased some stuff) where he’d changed it to Mr. Harris’. Excuse me?

Would you say “Mr. Harris car”? Or is it “Mr. Harris’s car”? Just say it aloud. Forget the apostrophe (which I did not attach at the end of the first Mr. Harris on purpose). I mean, puh-leeze! One makes no sense whatsoever. The other one denotes possession. It isn’t that hard for pity’s sake.

Who’s robe is it? It’s Jesus robe. Or is it Jesus’s robe? Jones hat. Jones’s hat. Which one sounds ridiculous when stated aloud and which one sounds correct?

Strunk and White are turning in their graves, I am sure. If that isn’t enough, I see it in newspapers too. Major newspapers. Drives me crazy! I am offended for the poor pitiful apostrophe who can’t speak up for itself.

Wasn’t it Lynne Truss who envisioned an army of punctuation warriors gleefully correcting signs? Well enlist me in the cause. Someone must defend the dignity of the apostrophe.

What’s your grammar peeve? I can stand almost anything, and really I am not nitpicky at all, but that apostrophe business drives me batty. Think I’ll go sit cross-legged somewhere and say some ohms……