Today I lost my mind on Twitter and pointed out some often misused words & punctuation marks. For posterity, I will enumerate them again here, having wiped off the overtones of condescension and annoyance.
1. Apostrophe use: some simple guidelines.
- Apostrophes do not mark plural. Do not use them to mean more than one of anything.
- Ex: cars NOT car’s; CDs & DVDs NOT CD’s & DVD’s.
- Apostrophes are not used to mark possessives in pronouns.
- Ex: “Poor dog, its tongue was hanging out.” vs. “It’s time to leave.”; “Whose book is this?” vs. “Who’s going to the show?”
- Apostrophes are used to mark possessive on nouns.
- Ex: “Yes, I have Mary’s phone.” or “The car’s tires need to be rotated.”
- Apostrophes are used to contract the verb “BE” as IS.
- Ex: it’s = it is; who’s = who is
2. Who vs. Whom: when and why.
- The –m in WHOM is a leftover from the regular use of the dative case in the past. Same roots as the –m in HIM. This means very little to most. Just remember that
- WHOM is only used after prepositions:
- Ex: To WHOM it may concern; For WHOM the bell tolls.
- In every other situation, WHO is the correct choice.
3. Irregardless is not a word. It’s a redundant construction. Don’t use it
4. Relevancy is not a word. It’s a redundant construction. Don’t use it.
5. For any questions on spelling, I recommend Dictionary.com. Use it. I do.