Kiss My Apostrophe

Happy National Grammar Day everyone!

As a high school English teacher, and an ex-elementary teacher, I am an expert on crappy grammar. I really wish I would have heard about this holiday before the end of the school day so I could have thrown a party (you know, to up my street cred). Nonetheless, I think we should all take a second and remind ourselves that despite the fact that society is doing its best to destroy it, grammar is still important. Moment of silence, please.

I'm not grammar freak, but I think there is a definite need to match your writing to your audience and purpose. There's academic writing, there's creative/media (articles, blogs, ads, etc...), and then there's casual crap (texting). Academic writing needs to adhere to grammatical standards, no exceptions. Creative and media
writing can take some liberty and artistic license, starting sentences with conjunctions, adding a little slang here or there, or saying things like "aint" for satirical purposes. Texting, well, texting is making our kids lazy (I had students at the beginning of the year who write "idk" and "btw" on assignments. Umm, WTF).

I must admit to some serious grammar pet peeves. I need to share, I've got to get them off my chest, and today is the perfect day. It's cleansing, it's cathartic, it's crucial.

1. Learn how to use fucking apostrophes. Sorry, but if I'm using the "f-word" on my blog it's important. If you're pluralizing you don't need one! Example: We are going to spend time with the Smith
s later. No apostrophe needed. If they own something, fine: We are going to Smiths' house. Or, if we're talking about just one person that possesses we can do this: The family's house is lovely. If contracting, add an apostrophe: Sally Smith's going to the party. Lesson: just because you add a damn s doesn't mean you need to use an apostrophe. Yes, "its" and "it's" are special. I could go on and on, but I'll stop. Deep breath.

Yes, I'd like to hire you to screw up my sign, please! [source]

2. Just because you want to sound educated doesn't mean you should use "whom" instead of "who." Grammar Girl has an excellent explanation on her site. Basically, if you turn the statement into a sentence and it can be answered with "him" you use "whom." If "he," then "who."

3. I taught the difference between "there," "their," and "they're," as well as "too" and "to," to fourth graders. Unless you're nine, get it right.

I'm going to stop now because I can actually feel my blood pressure increasing. Okay, not really, but I'm a firm believer in the fact that using proper grammar (at least the basics) is essential if you want to sound educated. Yes, even on Facebook (confession: sometimes if I catch a mistake in a status I delete, correct, and repost).

And yes, I do make mistakes, but if you point them out I will point out every single mistake you make until I die and possibly punch you if we ever meet. I would be scared- I've added lifting five pound weights to my fitness repertoire. I joke, I joke.

Now, time to celebrate! Go have a drink! Or, even better, write something with lots of appropriately placed apostrophes!


  1. Okay..I have to de-lurk for this. What I love even more than the type of mistakes you're talking about, is when people tell me that I'm just being "petty" for pointing them out. Of course, I used to be an old habits die hard. And let's not forget "your" v. "you're"

    Anyway, hi!

  2. oh my god this is hilarious! poor grammar and spelling mistakes make me crazy too.. P.S I love that you had to use the "F" word to get your point across. Really funny! I hope you follow my blog and are nice if I have a grammatical error. :o)

  3. Oops, I meant to say "God" with a capital G. now I'm paranoid! LOL..

  4. Thank for visiting (love that grammar is what brought out to comment, strivingcynic)!

  5. Remind me to never make mistakes around you! haha You're so funny and I have some of the same irks! My favorite is CongraDulations! :)

    I got your comment on my blog and I JUST watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie and it was ok. I knew they would leave out things but I kept bugging hubby about how much they left out or what they changed. Setting and Character wise it was spot on for me though. They got some really great parts down, but glazed over some crucial things I think.

    And yes, I've seen 500 days of Summer! LOVED it! We went on the tour in LA and went to "the bench."

  6. Yes yes yes. I want to go around correcting shops when I see misplaced apostrophes in their signage.