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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Apostrophes

Is It Veterans’ Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans Day?

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2021, at 6:00 am

As November 11 approaches, some people may wonder how to write the name of the November 11 American holiday that commemorates the end of world-war hostilities in 1918 and 1945 as well as all who have served the U.S. Armed Forces. Do we use an apostrophe when spelling Veterans Day? The answer is no. According …

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Lawsuits and the Missing Apostrophe

Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 6:00 am

For some people, punctuation in English might be a fuss over details. For others, it provides vital markers for clear, precise, and eloquent writing. For yet others, a missing apostrophe can represent a great expense. In October 2020, an Australian man claimed in a Facebook post that a real estate agent did not pay his …

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Contractions in English

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 6:00 am

Contractions in English are the shortening of words, phrases, or numerals by omitting characters and replacing them with an apostrophe. The apostrophe represents the missing letters or numbers. You likely use contractions daily in your communications. In writing and speech, they help us save time in exchanging thoughts and ideas. They conserve space and length …

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Is It Bachelors Degree or Bachelor’s Degree?

Posted on Monday, July 26, 2021, at 6:00 am

One of the ironies of education is that many people receive four-year degrees in the U.S. each year but aren’t sure whether their achievement needs to be written with an apostrophe. Even if you did well in English and grammar courses earlier on, such a detail may not be something you address every day. Do …

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Is It Father’s Day or Fathers Day?

Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 6:00 am

As the third Sunday in June approaches, many of you may be wondering how to write the name of the holiday—is it Father’s Day, Fathers’ Day, or Fathers Day? We last looked into the topic of where to properly place holiday apostrophes in a 2018 newsletter. Today we provide an update. Do You Use an …

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Is It Masters Degree or Master’s Degree?

Posted on Monday, March 8, 2021, at 9:00 am

Many may wonder whether to add an apostrophe to master's degree, something than can confuse even those with a highly advanced education in working with words. We will address a few facets concerning this term, including apostrophes, possessive use, and capitalization. Do You Use an Apostrophe When Spelling Master's Degree? The most direct answer is …

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The Spell of the Holidays

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The year-end holidays are an alternate reality. People dress differently, act differently … and even talk differently. This time of year has its own vocabulary, and some of these old-fashioned words have eccentric spellings. So here is our holiday spelling quiz. You'll find the answers directly below. 1. ___ the night before Christmas. A) T'was …

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Clipping Syllables to Sizes We Like

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The two following excerpts express the same thing. Which might you rather read or listen to? Today I went to the doctor's office for an exam because I thought I might be getting the flu. I skipped going to the gym after that. I stopped for gas and went home. Beth wanted me to help …

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Expressing Possession Greater Than One

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Communicating joint ownership can be a grammatical no-man’s land for many of us. Whether we were listening, speaking, or writing, we’ve probably found ourselves with statements similar to these: Chuck and Joe’s vacation resorts are in South America. Chuck’s and his vacation resorts are in South America. Theirs and Marla’s meetings are on Tuesday. Marla …

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Plural and Possessive Forms with Names Ending in y or i

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 7:00 am

How do you form the plural of a proper noun that ends in y such as Murphy? Should you change the name to Murphies? Given how other English words ending in y form their plurals, you would think so. Examples: puppy / puppies army / armies supply / supplies However, proper nouns are not pluralized …

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