The Apostrophe and the Greengrocer

apostropheGreengrocer?

Often called the Greengrocer’s Apostrophe because it was seen on market stalls and greengrocers’ shops: carrot’s, onion’s, mushroom’s.

You can see apostrophes used wrongly in some of the most public places: on vans, shop fronts, and billboards. Not checking your punctuation before having something printed professionally can harm your credibility. Would you want the professional service in the image to print your signs? Have you spotted what’s wrong with it?

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Possessive Apostrophe

An apostrophe used to show possession of something to someone can be a complicated thing. Do not confuse a possessive apostrophe with one used for a contraction of two words.

For clarity you should always consult a good style guide, such as New Hart’s Rules: The Oxford Style Guide or The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

If you are submitting work to a publisher it is advisable to ask for their own house style as some of the examples in this article may differ from one publisher to another.

Show possession to one person or thing (singular noun)

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Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Who’s versus Whose?

Homophones are sound-alike words. They are spelt differently but sound the same.

Each word has a distinct meaning. If in doubt consult your dictionary or style book. A good proofreader will pick up mistakes such as these but it’s best to get it right in the first place.

So, when do you use who’s and when do you use whose and how do you remember which is which? Continue reading