Word for Wednesday: Apostrophe

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Over the course of March we’ve decided to try something new for our Word for Wednesday feature and choose each week’s word to fit around a specific theme. Our chosen theme is punctuation, starting with the word apostrophe

As today is National Grammar Day in the United States of America, it is important to point out that grammar and punctuation are not the same thing. Grammar refers to the whole system and structure of a language and you can find a Word for Wednesday post about the word’s origin here.

Punctuation on the other hand refers to the written marks used to separate sentences in order to clarify meaning. 

Punctuation marks have a variety of functions which help make writing as clear as possible. Among other things they are used to indicate when sentences begin and end, when the reader should pause, and what part of the sentence is the most important.

While you might feel like using some punctuation marks comes instinctively, others may feel a mystery. You can learn how to use different punctuation marks correctly here

But onto our actual Wednesday word...apostrophe...

Apostrophes are used either to indicate missing letters in contractions or to show that someone is in possession of something. The word dates back to the 1580s and entered English via Middle French. Apostrophe derives from the Greek ‘apostrephein’ meaning ‘avert’ or ‘turn away’. If you struggle with knowing when to use apostrophes, click here for our top tips and here for some common apostrophe errors and how to fix them.

See you next week when we’ll be looking at parenthesis.

04 Mar 2020
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