Introduction to Apostrophes

What you’ll learn to do: critique the use of apostrophes

When you send a text message, you probably don’t bother with apostrophes, right? It makes sense that we might not worry about properly punctuating possessives and contractions in a text message, but it’s very important to remember to use apostrophes correctly in other writing situations.

Academics frequently debate whether or not text messaging is going to kill the poor apostrophe. In his essay “Dear Apostrophe: C Ya,” Rob Jenkins (2012) writes, “[O]ne of my professors, talking about the way language evolves over time, predicted that the next evolutionary stage would involve common punctuation marks. Specifically, he said, the apostrophe would eventually cease to exist” (para. 1).

We’ll see what the future holds, but the apostrophe is still standard usage. This section will help you understand and apply standard uses of apostrophes.