Grammar for some people can be intimidating, not knowing the correct instance to employ semicolons, while others punctuate with commas as if they’re going out of style. And there are even some who abuse the rules, whether they know it or not.
The city of Birmingham, England, banned apostrophes on public signs, saying that removing the punctuation mark would create consistency across city signage. City officials received a backlash of complaints as residents called the decision a “dumbing down,” especially as they’re teaching children proper grammar. City councilors said apostrophes were confusing and old fashioned, designating possessions that are no longer needed or no longer accurate.
Grammar debates have also been in the U.S. spotlight. Grammarians have argued that the title of the Hugh Grant-Sandra Bullock romantic comedy “Two Weeks Notice” should have read “Two Weeks' Notice,” because it’s referring to a notice of two weeks.
If you’re questioning any syntax statutes, follow these simple guidelines from the Associated Press Stylebook for proper use of these grammatical staples that’ll keep your writing crisp.
What are some of your favorite punctuation marks, and what rules do you find intimidating or perhaps convoluted? To make sure your prose is shoe-spit shiny, be sure to follow AP style and tips for news writing. And of course, always proofread.