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bibliophile

Apostrophe Catastrophe

If you’re really good at using apostrophes correctly, congratulations. But, a lot of us struggle placing them pesky things – before or after the s?!

I stumbled upon Apostrophe Catastrophe: and Other Grammatical Grumbles by author Patrick C. Notchtree, and was surprised that I found the short guide interesting and fun (grammar and punctuation, fun?).

What’s especially good about Patrick’s grumbles is his neutral, non judgemental tone throughout. Instead of drilling grammar into your brain while simultaneously scolding you for not knowing how or where to use apostrophes, he manages to make the method of using correct punctuation intriguing and necessary.

Although I like to think I can use punctuation correctly, there are times when I make mistakes and what’s worse – I haven’t noticed why they’re incorrect. Luckily Patrick explains – in basic terms – why we need certain types of punctuation, and how to use them without having to remember complicated rules or silly rhymes – that usually don’t make any sense.

At the back of the book there’s a Q&A, in which Patrick acts as a grammar/punctuation Agony Aunt. These issues are accompanied by grammar/spelling/apostrophe mishaps in the real world, just like this one:

If you’re struggling with punctuation – or just apostrophes – give this a read, and be surprised at how interested by language you’ll be.

Or visit the Apostrophe Catastrophe website for more grammar fails.

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