A rather blurry shot through a window, inviting one and all to come hear some jazz—but only on Tuesday’s. Why that apostrophe, you might ask? (I hope you ask.)
Because “Tuesdays” ends in S, and some people have a compulsion to throw an apostrophe into every word ending with an S, even when the word isn’t possessive.
It’s just an ordinary plural, people. Curb your apostrophe mania, I beg of you.
Last night my husband and I went to a lovely concert, a tenor singing Shubert’s “Winterreisse” (“Winter Journey”) a series of beautiful and sad songs accompanied by a piano. The program seemed so fitting for a cold night. The songs were written and sung in German, but on the wall above the singer an English translation was projected.
Being the grammatically compulsive person I am, I had to bring myself back to the music and try to ignore the fact that every time the word “its” was needed, “it’s” was written.
If it doesn’t mean “it is” or “it has,” you want “its,” the possessive form:
“It’s been cold and snowy in the East.” <——It has
“It’s cold even here in Los Angeles.” <——-It is
“The tree dropped its leaves.” <——-Possessive. The leaves belong to the tree.
People get confused because in English possessive nouns do take apostrophes. But possessive pronouns never do:
Hers, his, ours, theirs, yours—hold the apostrophes!
If you want to send a card that says SEASON’S GREETINGS, check the card to make certain that apostrophe is in place. The greetings belong to the season—one season. I have seen cards printed with no apostrophe and others printed with an apostrophe after the final S in SEASONS. You are not sending greetings for multiple seasons.
People go crazy with apostrophes. When they see a final S, they reach into their bulging apostrophe pocket and hurl one at the word. That’s why you will see signs in grocery stores telling you to buy APPLE’S, RADISHES’ AND PASTA’S. None of those words is possessive; they are merely plurals. I saw a sign painted on the side of a truck that bragged the company had ‘The Best Plumber’s in Town.”
If I could get $5 for every missing or misplaced apostrophe, I would be a rich woman in two weeks.