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I can’t hold it in any longer. It may seem too obvious a subject for an editor-type to blog on, but the misuse of the common apostrophe makes me so angry I can actually feel my blood pressure rising when I see yet another prime example.

So I edit Dynamic Business, Australia’s largest circulating magazine for SMEs. Yes, SMEs, not SME’s. Why why WHY would you put an apostrophe in there? Surely one of the most basic punctuation lessons you learn at school is that the apostrophe is not used before s just because something’s plural? I bet you wouldn’t call the plural of apostrophe apostrophe’s. Then again, maybe you would.

It’s not just the literally challenged doing this, which is what gets to me most. We’re talking PR people, intelligent businesspeople and even—though it pains me to say it—fellow journalists.

If I see SME’s one more time—unless of course it means something belonging to an SME or because an SME is doing something—I may just pull my hair out. I’m thinking of banning anyone who commits this word crime from the pages of DB, so watch out. This is a punctuation crackdown.

I’m getting off my high horse now. Don’t even get me started on the misuse of quote marks or we’ll be here all day!

Yours pedantically,

Word nerd x