The Errant Apostrophe

So the name of this blog might seem kind of strange. Some of you, however, may remember a column I wrote a few months ago in which I railed about, well, errant apostrophes.

“Is it just that people aren’t thinking?” I wrote. “Or do they think the word looks bare without the squiggle of an apostrophe? Is it just ‘Well, I don’t know what’s right, so I’ll just put one in?’ ”

“I can’t believe schools don’t cover this anymore — I know and respect too many teachers for that. Is it just that people in the age of text-messaging can’t be bothered? Or that people in any age can’t be bothered?
“Simply put: An apostrophe is used to form the possessive form of a noun. It’s not used for a basic plural noun.
“Even simpler: It’s versus its. “It is” or “it has” equals “it’s.” In any other context, the word is “its.”
“It’s that simple.”

Geeky, yes, but this issue gets me worked up. I still see signs like this on a regular basis and it drives my punctuation-loving soul NUTS.

So, my fellow lovers of the apostrophe, send me your anecdotes and photos of signs that don’t follow these simple rules. Perhaps we can shame their owners into submission. Or at least get a laugh out of them.


So this is a blog, huh? Nice. Now I feel like, perhaps, I’ve finally arrived in the ’00s.

Nah. Can’t be.

Let me introduce myself. That’s what you do with these things, right?Let’s see. What do you need to know about me … in classic newspaper breakout-box style …

WHO: Jill Keppeler

WHAT: Page designer and columnist for Greater Niagara Newspapers. Wife, mom to two great little boys, avid reader, former reporter, lifelong Western New Yorker, Sabres fan, Bills fan, fantasy football team owner, science-fiction fan, baker, amateur cake decorator, grammar and punctuation enthusiast … how much time do you have?

WHEN: 1974 to the present.

WHERE: I’ve lived in seven municipalities in four of the counties of Western New York, from Cattaraugus County (where I grew up and attended college) to Erie County (where I live now — in the Town of Tonawanda — and intend to stay.)

WHY: Heaven only knows.

When this blog was first suggested to me, it was as a “Mommy” blog. Now, I’m definitely a mommy, but I do do more than that. Really.

So, this blog will be about motherhood, punctuation, books, TV, news, life in Western New York  … whatever happens to be going through my head at the moment.

Unfortunately, what’s going through my head at the moment is that I have to get back to the rest of my work or I’m never going to see my kids today.

Talk to you soon.

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