Tag Archives: apostrophe

Ian McEwan’s metalinguistic comments

During the final month of 2022 I read two of Ian McEwan’s novels, an earlier one, Saturday (2005), and his most recent Lessons (2022). Ever since reading his short story “Mother tongue” (2001) I’ve been keeping track of his metalinguistic … Continue reading

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Season’s Greetings and other seasonal pitfalls

Christmas is getting closer and the preparations for the festive season are well under way. If you think that pedants and sticklers will grant you some sort of Christmas amnesty, you are most probably wrong. For  them the Christmas season … Continue reading

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Read all about it! Our third feature in English Today

In the latest issue of English Today I briefly address the history of the possessive apostrophe, the most notorious punctuation mark in the English language. Here are some interesting facts from the article: Did you know that the apostrophe was first … Continue reading

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Punishing Princes Street

Edinburgh’s Princes Street is a true shopper’s delight. Its countless shops and stores make the hearts of shopaholics beat faster and credit cards moan even louder. Yet, it is not all sunshine and roses down Princes Street. Grammar – or … Continue reading

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Apostrophe humour

In a recent analysis of letters to the editor written on the topic of the errant apostrophe, I have come across many humorous examples of both letters and featured comics. The two comics below are taken from the Guardian. The … Continue reading

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The greengrocer’s apostrophe in Dutch

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Reading Hoffman’s Honger (1990) by Leon de Winter, a Dutch writer (b. 1954) who divides his time between living in The Netherlands and Los Angeles, I was struck by the apostrophe in the title of this novel. Dutch usage of the apostrophe … Continue reading

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Waterstone’s and their apostrophe

A few days ago, Marilyn Hedges, one of our contributors, left a comment to tell us that she had heard on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Waterstone’s has decided to drop its apostrophe. As Marilyn summarised: The reason given … Continue reading

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No greengrocer’s apostrophe any longer

During the past few days, I received emails (from the UK) that contained the following phrases: An Out-of-Office reply: Please note I work Monday – Wednesday’s only Please supply: Passengers full name (as stated on passport); Passengers date of birth; Passport number … Continue reading

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