Without even trying, it seems I’ve had a bit of a theme in my writing posts recently: writing blunders on social media. Have you read my posts on alot vs a lot and the overuse of the ellipses?

It seems I’ll be carrying on this theme with today’s post: the use of the apostrophe when writing plurals.

I have seen many people use the apostrophe to make a word plural, even friends and family. Here are some examples:

  • I love eating the blueberry’s.
  • That’s where the Smith’s live.
  • Please turn off the light’s.

In each of these instances, this is a wrong use of the apostrophe. Generally (as is the case in the 3 examples above), apostrophes indicate possession. Here are 3 alternate examples that show the proper use of the apostrophe:

  • I love eating the blueberry’s flesh.
  • That’s where the Smith’s dog lives.
  • Please turn off the light’s switch.

Now, you can easily see the difference between how the apostrophe was used incorrectly and how it is used correctly.

If you need to indicate something is plural, just add an “s” (or change the “y” to “i” and “es”, etc).

  • I love eating the blueberries.
  • That’s where the Smiths live.
  • Please turn off the lights.

Using the apostrophe for plurals is not only wrong, it takes more work. Why waste time when you can save time?

What writing gaffe do you see most often in social media posts and comments? Let me know in the comments below. I can’t wait to see them.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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