Welcome to the second edition of Weidert Wednesday, starring Weidert Group’s most talented, funny, witty employees: the Content Queens. Don’t let our youthful exuberance fool you, Vicki and I have written thousands of blogs and content pieces between the two of us, and we’ll be talking about all the mistakes and misuses us copywriters see every day – and frankly, get on our nerves.
“Brevity is the soul of wit,” someone famous once said, so without further ado, here are our first three grammar pet peeves we see far too often:
Possessive Punctuation (Pie’s vs. Pies)
If we had a dollar for every misplaced apostrophe we’ve seen, we’d be on a beach somewhere livin’ the good life. With a cocktail. Instead, we’ll settle for this video and hopefully fewer misplaced apostrophes.
When you add “ ‘s “ to the end of a noun, the “ ‘s “ signifies possession for that noun. Example:
- Bob’s Burgers
- Meg’s Blog
- Vicki’s Video
- The Agency’s Best Two Employees
It SHOULD NOT be used like the examples below, as they aren’t intended to show possession:
- Pie’s & Burger’s
- T-shirt’s & Sweatshirt’s
- Raining Cat’s & Dog’s
Plural Possessives (Pig’s tail vs. Pigs’ tails)
Continuing from the last point, when it comes to showing possession of a plural noun that ends with an “s”, the apostrophe should always be at the end of the word, NOT before the “s”. Example:
Correct: The pig’s tail.
Correct: The pigs’ tails.
Incorrect: The pig’s tails.
Relative Pronouns (Who vs. That)
Misplaced apostrophes are one thing, but this error might fly under the radar even more often. Relative pronouns like who, whoever, whose, which, and that are used to introduce a relative clause (e.g., Bill is the professor who teaches physics, O’Reilly is the dorm that I stayed in freshman year). That said, when the subject of the sentence is a person or a group of people, the proper relative pronoun to use is “who” and not “that.” Though it’s considered acceptable to use “that” in conversational English, the correct written usage is “who,” and that’s why it gets on our nerves!
Correct: Carol is the lady who has a cat.
Incorrect: Carol is the lady that has a cat.
That’s all for this episode! Have any other grammar pet peeves you want us to address? Leave a comment and we’ll try to include them in our next video.