If English is what they were taught early on,
And if they are older than thirty,
I would think that the average American knows
Punctuation. Without being shirty,
Apostrophes are for possesives, and so
It is right that this use gets a place
In writing, as seen in the writer’s blue hat,
Or Aunt Margaret’s wizened old face.
The worst type of misuse I see in our craft —
The apostrophe-S used for plurals,
Like doggy’s for doggies, and pass’s for passes,
This apostrophe-S is my quarrel.
This isn’t so hard, then, as anyone older
Knew well ere they entered their teens.
With a roll of the eye and a shrug of the shoulder,
Even teachers don’t know what it means.
We’re becoming a far-less meticulous race.
Generations before this were knowing;
Separate the possesive apostrophe-S
From the plural, where ‘S shan’t be going.
Now try to remember, young writers, please try,
(And editors, ad-men, and printers,)
Learn the language before you take pen up to write;
Keep it safe, and not falling to splinters.
(I know that last line is a stretch, so I ask all you poets, don’t hate me forever
For taking the easier route for a rhyme. As a tool, this is handy whenever.)