Thursday, January 5, 2012


A huge Australian store put up seven-storey-high banners across Australia that included a misplaced apostrophe. Grammarians may bemoan the level of literacy of the average Australian, but from Myer’s point of view, far too many people saw the gaffe and Twitter exploded with tweets about it.
For writers, and anyone anticipating a career in retail, here is how it works:
Possessives: My dad’s hat. Thomas’ hat. (some older and more traditional publishers still accept Thomas’s hat). The Joneses’ hat.
Plurals: No apostrophe. Cats, hats, the Joneses. (And in this case "gets".)
Plural and possessive: the cats’ hats, the scissors’ blades.
See, easy!
Helen Woodall


anny cook said...

Says you... it's? its?

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

It's is short for it is: It's a hot day.
Its is possesive. Its hat.
It's a hot day so it needs its hat.

Amarinda Jones said...

I used to work for Myer - many moons ago - they do dumb things...a lot. But yes, it's and its can be tricky and I don't know of any writer who can put their hand on their heart and swear they always get it right

Jaynie said...

I can understand why people might mix up its and it's, because they are both words.

BUT get's!

There is never a situation where get's is correct. I could write an entire rant on where our education system is going wrong with this, but there's probably not enough room in the comment box lol.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

For 20 years school kids were told fussing about spelling and grammar would destroy their creativity. So now we have a generation of creative adults who can't spell well enough to sell their inventions.