Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The errant apostrophe

"What do you say when comforting a grammar nerd?
There, their, they're."

It is over ten years since Lynne Truss wrote her book, and yet every day I still come across instances of incompetent grammatical errors being displayed in the public forum by grown up, educated, and - I am guessing - fairly articulate individuals.

Just today I came across this (as part of a LinkedIn post): 

"[...] effort and time given by some Mum's and Dad's, who get involved in the coaching..."

Since when were random parents recognised as individual proper nouns?
And how does any inserted apostrophe make the singular, plural?

A very funny Twitter campaign started some time ago, appropriately by one of the star teachers of Educating Yorkshire (if you have never seen this, then do yourself a favour and watch it), to address this very issue and pet hate.

Every Wednesday, without fail, an avalanche of poorly written grammar would be broadcast to the wider world, the aim being - or so I thought - of educating those still in doubt about where to put that pesky little 'high' comma so that the meaning of your sentence did not confound your audience.

This was my contribution:


Alas, poor punctuation persists. And no, it is not a case of many individuals being dyslexic.

Now, if only there was an apostrophe-check program on computers. 
Or a random hand that would come out and slap fingers if the incorrect format was used, preferably before the < enter > button was pressed.

Hmmm. New business idea for 2016?


Yadda yadda yadda...