Another Word on Apostrophes

Apostrophes can be tricksters, and one of the trickier uses of them is possession versus description. According to some sources, including the AP Style Guide, some nouns merely describe the noun that comes after them. For example:

The boys team. According to AP style, “boys” describes the word “team,” but the boys don’t necessarily possess the team.

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Style Quiz: Possessives

Just so we’re clear, I’m not talking about fashion. Correct apostrophe use with possessives is something even the best grammarians need a reminder of from time to time. Let’s start with the basics:

The boy’s ball rolled into the water.

There is one boy and the ball that belongs to him rolled into a stagnant, murky creek.

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