This piece has been a long time in the making. You can't imagine how many years...it's finally here.
I'm really trying very hard and have been for years but I still cannot "accept" the increasing misuse, and even abuse in some cases, of the apostrophe. (BTW, I corrected my boss a few years ago).
When I was being taught about punctuations decades ago and I'm sure the same still applies today, we were told that apostrophes could be used to indicate possessives or plurals. Remember? Ok, this picture clarifies the rules.
It's sad to notice that more and more people use apostrophes when they want to pluralize an acronym e.g. Key Performance Indicators is shortened as KPI's - the correct pluralized acronym is KPIs. I know that if you type it directly in Word, it changes the prior letters to lower case. However that is not a good enough reason not to write things correctly - at least until those in Microsoft figure out how we can minimize the abuse/misuse of the apostrophe.
Let's try one more example and I'll add what each word or contraction means:
It's vs. Its: "It's" is the contraction of "It is" - just like "I'm" is a contraction of "I am" not "Am" as I see people writing these days. You ask someone "How are you?" and the response is "Am fine" - which is wrong/bad English. The correct thing is "I'm (or I am) fine" (and always nice to add "thank you and you?"). Ok before I go too far off topic let me reel myself in. "Its", on the other hand, is the possessive form of "It" e.g. "The church announced its Community Engagement Program."
The other place where you see the misuse of the apostrophe is with names that end with "s" e.g. Agnes. If you want to say that something belongs to Agnes you wouldn't or shouldn't write "It's Agne's purse" or "It's Agnes's purse" - the correct way is "It's Agnes' purse." If it's a name that doesn't end with "s" then the apostrophe should be before the "s" - right?
Right of course. I was thinking that I had held off on this piece for too long not know that I had a few more surprises - actually shocks to come. I got an email where the author had a phrase that said: "get to know each
other’s’ preferred ...style..." Do you see what I saw? Look again. That's what happens when we get used to putting the apostrophe in the wrong place and then when it's time to add an apostrophe confusion ensues. Before you laugh and fall of your seat/sofa, you may want to quickly review some of the things you have written and purpose to use apostrophes correctly going forward. Then please join me to do what this Red Button says:
This is piece* below I found by happenstance...I decided to do an Internet on my name and found a piece I wrote in 2011. I cannot even remember doing this - no idea why I even wrote it - but it was credited to me so I might as well share it and my additions to (in italics) it exactly 5 years later with you. I've also added a picture.
The key to acting equal is first realizing that we are all equal. Then applying the golden rule to treat others as we would want to be treated. When we do this to each other irrespective of gender or race, we will jointly be making a difference where we are.
Personally, one of the challenges I see is that some women do not "think equal" and too easily resign themselves. In addition to expecting the world to come up with initiatives to help women, women need to make things happen for themselves.
One of the low-hanging fruits for me, especially since I'm blessed among men, is ensuring that my sons have the same "home-training" as a girl would. All those who are blessed with male and female children and let the boys "out of the kitchen" are perpetuating the age-old "inequality." We have a chance to break that cycle and make sure our sons are as equipped as our daughters and vice versa.
Our daughters must also have the same educational opportunities as our sons - a wise person once said "an educated woman is an educated family" and I'd add "an educated family leads to an educated nation." When we raise our children to live a gender equality life, we will have changed this suboptimal equilibrium. We will indeed be the change we want to see (like Mahatma Gandhi said). Ladies, we have a key role in making this happen - for ourselves and for generations to come.
So rather than sit around (on your hands) complaining about the lack of equality, rise up, do your part and ensure equality in your home. The seeds you sow in those within your circle of influence will definitely have a ripple effect.