Apostrophe Training

I’ll be the first to admit that apostrophes are the one part of English grammar that I have the most difficulty with. I really don’t know why, I can normally spot other errors with ease, but apostrophes less so.

So on that note, I have finally decided to make an effort to use those darn little things properly. I will force myself out of the habit of using apostrophes for plurals in acronyms:

  • I own some great CD’s.
  • The BMW’s finished the race.

And I will get my head around names ending in ’s’:

  • James’ dog made me laugh.
  • The Jones’ were very polite to me.

So it’s CDs, BMWs, James’s and Joneses’.

Interestingly, Firefox’s spell-checker has highlighted CDs, BMWs and James’s. It reckons each acronym should have an apostrophe, and of course it has no idea about James, but likes Jones. Admittedly the dictionary is American, and Word (with a British dictionary) fairs a little better – it doesn’t highlight any spelling or grammar errors with either use of the apostrophe!