As I passed a billboard this week, telling me the “do’s and dont’s” of something or other–I can’t even recall what the billboard was about because I was so distracted by the error–I was reminded how frequently we see apostrophe errors in all kinds of professional settings. (By the way, the billboard should have read, “dos and don’ts.”)
Last December, I posted about how apostrophes are misused on Christmas cards all the time. But I also see apostrophe problems on fruit stand signs, window paintings, and even engraved wayfinding signs in buildings.
In professional settings, punctuation errors can be a cause for embarrassment. And, it seems, apostrophes are one of the more frequently misused marks. If you find yourself struggling with apostrophes, try following this handy little flowchart that maps out how you should (and should not) use apostrophes.