A recent comment asking about abuse of the apostrophe left me with the desire to elucidate further. Here you go, folks–no more abusing those apostrophes. You could go blind. Ever wonder why it looks RIGHT to add an apostrophe after a verb or to write “Open Seven Day’s A Week”?
Seeing that one fills me with the urge to go on a tri-state killing spree. The reason it looks “right”? You’re the victim of millions of bad menus, billboards, advertisements and other material. It looks WRONG now, you’ve seen it done badly so many times that right looks wrong. Welcome to Orwell land.
My handy memorization rule for apostrophes: Two basic uses–don’t bother any any others and you’ll never abuse them:
1. Used in a contraction. If you can’t remember how to properly render the apostrophe in a contraction, just spell it out instead. “It is” instead of “it’s” as in “It’s all about the Benjamins.”
2. Used to make a possessive. “Jeremy’s bicycle is a piece of crap.” “The creature’s claws got stuck in Jimmy’s scalp.”
A great mnemonic memory device for proper use of the apostrophe when it comes to “it is” or the possesive of “It” comes by way of Charles Bukowski, who wrote a book of poems called “It Catches My Heart In Its Hands”
Notice the apostrophe is omitted on the possessive of its. If my fuzzy memory serves me right, once upon a time they added an apostrophe AFTER the s, but that’s dropped out of the vernacular.