In the same vein as my previous post on the use of commas, I once again offer you a way to make your writing appear more intelligent: How To Use An Apostrophe, from The Oatmeal (courtesy this post from LifeHacker). It’s a nice, simple, visual guide.
Personally, I think it’s still too complicated. According to Michael D. C. Drout, professor of Linguistics at Wheaton College and author of several of my favorite Modern Scholar Series lectures from Recorded Books, the apostrophe’s job is to indicate that one or more letters are missing. When you understand that English used to have a dative case which was marked with the suffix “-es”, and that languages tend to “lose” the last unstressed vowel in a word over time, you understand why we tag possessives with “‘s” now.
For your amusement, check out Apostrophe Abuse.
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