I’ll never forget where I was when I realized I married an apostrophe abuser. I was standing in my kitchen, just mere feet from where I sit typing this, looking for a water jug to bring to a workout. After digging through the forgotten wedding presents and dust bunnies that inhabit the cabinets above the fridge, I found what I was looking for. I pulled it down, and dust billowed. As I blinked the particles free, something on the handle caught my eye: I froze and dropped the jug like a sweaty toddler shoe.
The Taylor’s, it read, written in the child-like chicken scratch that could only belong to my husband.
Ultimately over months of tears, conversations, acceptance and forgiveness, we have moved on from this tragedy. But I know he is not alone. November begins the season of The Holiday Card, the time of year when the country demonstrates its utter disregard for the poor, misunderstood apostrophe.
Yes, it may “look better” to place it wherever you want, but people, think of what we tell our children: Just because something feels good doesn’t make it right. This year, let’s all make a pledge to honor the apostrophe. No more The Taylor’s, The Taylors’, or The Taylors’s.
Remember: All you need do is add an “s” at the end of your name to make it plural. If your last name ends in “s,” “x,” “z,” a soft “ch,” or “sh,” then add an “es.”
When you add an apostrophe in the wrong place—making your name possessive, like The Taylors’ —then you’re basically mailing a card you’ve labeled as your own. Am I borrowing this holiday card from you? Would you like me to mail it back when the season is over?
Together, we can make a change.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.