Help Wanted: Apostrophe

Our ancient, yet ever-evolving organization is looking for a dependable apostrophe (’) who understands its place in our structure and improves the quality of communication for all English speakers. You will be successful in this position if you are eager to step in and help where needed but will not try to force yourself where you don’t belong.

Key responsibilities:

  • DO fill in for missing letters and numbers – Sometimes letters and numbers need vacations. Your job is to hold their place while they are away.  Examples: isn’t (is not), ‘til (until), int’l (international); ‘60s (1960s), ‘40s (1940s).
  • DO show ownership – Saying “belongs to” every time is a time-wasting, frivolous use of resources. Therefore, you will often work with “s” to end words to show possession. Examples: Mary’s shoe (the shoe that belongs to Mary), the dog’s bone (the bone that belongs to the dog). Please note: To further increase workplace efficiency, you will work alone if the word already ends in “s.” Examples: Chris’ beer (the beer that belongs to Chris), the giraffes’ necks (the necks that belong to the giraffes).

Conditions for dismissal:

  • DON’T indicate plurals – Words are very sensitive. If you try to force yourself into the middle of a perfectly good plural word, they feel like you are trying to stab them in the gut. Examples: forks, musicians, hedgehogs. These words are complete, so don’t try to take the place of something that isn’t missing.
  • DON’T show ownership in possessive pronouns – Our staff of personal possessive pronouns (yours, his, ours, etc.) are all highly educated and can do their jobs by themselves. Like plurals, they are complete words and have a low tolerance for pain.

To apply for this position: Please submit your résumé and a cover letter that indicates which of the following sentences use(s) apostrophes correctly:

a)      I understand the do’s and don’ts of this job.
b)      Mary’s Bloody Mary’s are the best in town.
c)      It wasn’t ‘til the ‘90s that CDs became popular.
d)      Parking’s available to customer’s only.
e)      That sheet music from the 1700’s isn’t your’s, is it?

One thought on “Help Wanted: Apostrophe

  1. Pingback: They’re vs. There vs. Their | Ain't Never

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