Apostrophe usage: get them right to avoid wasting a Twitter character
With a 140-character limit, avoiding unnecessary apostrophes could make the difference between your tweet fitting ... and not (this is no excuse not to include an apostrophe when you should).
Apostrophes are used to indicate when something belongs to someone, or when you've missed some letters out.
When you shouldn't use apostrophes
You don't need to use apostrophes in these cases:
- Shorten those URLs (NOT URL's).
- You are hiring SEOs (NOT SEO's)
- MPs voted last night (NOT MP's)
- Computer games in the 80s were brilliant (NOT 80's).
- The tweet was hers (NOT her's)
- Its latest release (NOT it's)
- Jesus' first tweet (NOT Jesus's)
You don't need an apostrophe when nothing belongs to the word in question or you're not leaving any more letters out than you were to start with. So to get the plurals of URL, MP, SEO (as a person) and 80, you just add the letter 's'.
And posessives are words in their own right. If Google owned all our base, all our base would be Google's. But also, our base are now its.
And words that end in s already, when they do need an apostrophe, don't need the extra 's' as well (it's not wrong to include the 's' - but it will cost you a character).
More apostrophe reading
- The history of the apostrophe
- BBC apostrophe quiz
- Apostrophe Protection Society examples
- Another quiz
- Apostrophes abolished by Council
- Guardian style guide - see apostrophes
- It's in its rightful place - Guardian readers editor on apostrofly
Right, let's hope I haven't got one wrong here. Please, please, please.
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