Dear Grammar Police,
I want to express grave concern regarding the recent conduct and behavior of apostrophes. Lately, I’ve noticed their arrogant behavior. It is as though they believe themselves to be commas, and we cannot allow this to go unchallenged!
Anyone who has tried to teach punctuation to children can understand the inherent fear with which those small semi-circles are viewed. For example, just when children have mastered items in a series and complex sentences, the use of commas for apposition, opposition, and parentheticals is taught. It’s enough to make someone want to become an accountant—at least their commas know how to behave!
I implore you, Grammar Police, one gang of semi-circular punctuation marks swaggering and threatening is enough. But now, apostrophes, whose use in possessive nouns and contractions has been easy (okay the it’s/its thing is a bit tricky), are beginning to swagger. They’ve produced so much fear in the hearts of English writers that I’ve seen letters addressed to The Keller’s! Is it the physical home of the family that is being addressed? If so, be warned the door cannot read!
But, I suspect that these impish apostrophes have noticed their corporeal similarities to commas and are using these resemblances to intimidate writers into thinking they are difficult. I urge the grammar police to crack down on these imposters and spread the word that semi-circles above the line are harmless, easily tamed creatures and not the nasty, shiftless brutes known as commas. It is imperative that this be done soon, or it will be too late.
A Concerned Punctuationist, aka Connie