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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Lost Apostrophe


I was about to post another load of drivel about my garden, but having read the Garden Monkey I thought I might briefly avoid being a ‘bit, meh’ garden blog: I will save that honour for later!

Instead I will tell you about the lost, or should that be found, apostrophe. Most of us know the rules, indeed some people are quite obsessive about where apostrophes go & have been known to correct others when not in any sort of teaching or guidance capacity. One of the rules is that an apostrophe is used when a word is shortened by removing a letter as in didn’t or she’s. Imagine my shock when recently reading Alice Through The Looking Glass to find that can’t was in fact ca’n’t because 2 letters were missing. Now the spell check thingy on here is showing that I have misspelt the word!


Do you think this apostrophe went missing & is the one that is loved & extensively used by green-grocers & market stall holders when it is not needed?


  1. It's not easy being a pedant you know. We are not loved!

    Although the Sock did ask me to tell her if she made any mistakes which is how I got the (not totally unfounded) reputation of being obsessed.

    The idea that there are lots of displaced apostrophes out there looking for homes might make me more tolerant of the ones seeking asylum in a plural!

  2. I rely on Fat Rascal to point out the apostrophe catastrophes on my blog. It must be the one punctuation mistake that really annoys a lot of people, much worse than using random dots, dashes, commas and too many exclamation marks!

    I'm assuming that was a reprinted copy of Alice.. that you were reading. I'm surprised the double apostrophe (which I think is rather exciting) didn't get lost in some reprint.

    As for "meh", I was just happy to learn a new word and shall use it about the Bedsock's cooking when he has displeased me!

  3. I am someone who is "quite obsessive about where apostrophes go" and is constantly having to restrain herself so that she doesn't "correct others when not in any sort of teaching or guidance capacity" and end up losing all the friends she has left, so I was delighted to read your post and hope that it will be instrumental in helping some of your other readers to learn the basic rules of grammar ;)

    Grammar geeks of the world unite - we have nothing to lose but our apostrophes!

  4. I am new to your blog, but am proud to announce that I am a grammar geek! I hate the incorrect use of my beloved apostrophes and have to fight the urge to carry a corrective marker pen around with me!

    Thanks for a great blog :)

  5. You are very welcome Nutty Gnome!

    I am not a geek or a pedant although I do like to think that I get my grammar reasonably correct, but then I am of an age where I did English Language at O' (yes I am that old) level & enjoyed the discipline of doing it.

    The book was of course a re-print Ms Sock & I confess that the double apostrophe began to irritate me after a while.

    Hold back there Juliet!