GrammarPhile Blog

6 Common Punctuation Mistakes That Drive Us Crazy

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jan 5, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Everyone everywhere is talking about goals and expectations for the new year. We’re all being bombarded online with inspirational fluff and hustle culture exhortations and lists of predictions for every industry and every aspect of life.

Well, we like to stand out. Not just for the quality of our proofreading and copyediting work, but for our unique approach to a new year. Today, instead of being fueled by resolutions with a half-life of 17 seconds or lofty aspirations for the perfect physique, how about being driven by rage? Good old-fashioned disgust centered around punctuation mistakes that make you want to throw a baby tantrum and toss dirty dishes out the kitchen window. We’ll go first.

In no particular order, here are six common punctuation mistakes that drive us crazy:

1. The “You don’t need an apostrophe, for the love!” apostrophe, also known as the grocer’s apostrophe, also known as the “Am I using a plural word? Then I’ll slap an apostrophe on to cover all my bases” apostrophe. For example:

-Avocado’s on sale! Buy two for the price of a little less than two.
-His coin’s are jingling like tiny flat bells.
-The Smythe’s live here.
-I know so many teachers’ who are sad winter break is over.

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Topics: punctuation, apostrophes

When You Don’t Need an Apostrophe

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jan 13, 2022 10:30:00 AM

The Grocer’s Apostrophe

If the use of apostrophes has you scratching your head, you’ve come to the right place.

First, let’s start this subtraction problem with some simple addition. There are three situations when you do need an apostrophe:

  1. Omission. To indicate that one or more letters are missing. For example: “Doesn’t” instead of “does not,” “hasn’t” instead of “has not.”
  2. Possession. To indicate that something belongs to somebody (loosely, since it could be a somebody that belongs to something). For example: ProofreadNOW.com’s amazing proofreaders, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt’s crew, the dog’s enormous nose.
  3. Plurality. To indicate the plural of letters or figures. For example: Mind your p’s and q’s. Plot those x’s and y’s. On the contrary: There were no ifs or buts. Beware the dos and don’ts. In letter puzzles, s’s are used more than other consonants and e’s are featured more than other vowels. As noted elsewhere on our site, some people do not consider the third use as correct.*)
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Topics: apostrophe, apostrophes

4 Grammar Mishaps That Will Make Your Brand Untrustworthy

Posted by Conni Eversull   Oct 8, 2015 6:30:00 AM

While there are those who say grammar doesn't matter, surveys keep bearing out a simple reality: consumers actually do care about grammar.

Global Lingo found that 59% of adults in the U.K. would not use a company that had obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes in its content.

Standing Dog Interactive conducted a similar poll. It revealed that 58% of people are “very” or “somewhat” annoyed by typos and grammatical errors.

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Topics: commas, apostrophe, comparatives, apostrophes

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