You guys, I am not a grammar nazi. I incorrectly used the word "whom" in an email this week (after looking up the who/whom rules on the internet and incorrectly interpreting them). I have serious trouble spelling ie/ei words. I make my fair share of typos and I am often too lazy to employ spellcheck. I embrace lolcats.
However, the widespread abuse of apostrophes is getting out of hand. In the past few weeks, I have witnessed all of the following ACTUAL examples, almost exclusively on Facebook.
Mary love's Project Runway!
I'm glad you guy's made it home safe!
Love the new pic's.
Here come's the angry emails!
Mom's are the best!
PEOPLE. An apostrophe is not a decoration you throw on words to make them look fancier. It means something. Specifically, it means: (1) that a word has had letters omitted for brevity's sake (for example, "International" becomes "Int'l", or "do not" becomes "don't"), OR (2) it indicates possession (example: that dude's shirt is ugly).
CORRECT: My cat's an idiot; he chases his own tail. ("cat's" means "cat is" in this instance)
CORRECT: My cat's tail is being chased. (the tail in question belongs to my cat)
INCORRECT: All cat's have tails. (no apostrophe necessary)
This is really not that hard, but if you're in doubt: just leave the apostrophe out. Please, please, PLEASE stop throwing apostrophes in front of every "s" you see. They're punctuation, not confetti.
To be fair, it's not just Facebook:
It's a little hard to see in the screenshot, but that right there says "wedding's dresses." Wedding's dresses? I'm not sure if this is an outright apostrophe error or just a confusingly worded page title. I guess dresses could, theoretically, be thought of as belonging to the wedding itself. Maybe. At best, it's poor wording. I was sorely tempted to click the box and chat with a Jcrew representative to discuss the matter, but then I got distracted by the friend of a friend on Facebook who is a fan of "Bomb Fires," along with 1,500 other people who are all unaware that the term is BONFIRES.