greengrocer's apostrophe (Who invented ...)

Sally Odgers sodgers at tassie.net.au
Wed Aug 25 07:59:04 EDT 2004


THE WANDERING APOSTROPE
'
The wandering apostrophe; a so-intrusive creature 
Once it was occasional; now it makes a feature 
Of infesting poets' poems 
And infiltrating stories; 
It has no right to raise its head 
It's only chasing glories. 

The wandering apostrophe creeps into many plurals; 
It sneaks around in manuscripts from Melbourne to the Urals 
It seems to think it has a place 
In front of every S 
It muscles into everything; a pushy thing, I guess. 

Legitimate apostrophes? Two reasons to exist 
One is denoting ownership, 
The other - letters missed 
It has no place in His or Hers, should never enter Its; 
Unless it's standing for It(i)s 
And then of course, it fits. 
Onions doesn't need one (unless it's onions' skins) 
One cat's bowl or two cats' bowls- 
Learn this and you'll win 
My poetic approval, but if you will or not- 
The wandering apostrophe (I think) should soon be shot.

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