Free the Apostrophe!

I have to say, I’m so glad somebody is finally organizing to put an end to apostrophe abuse.

The apostrophe I most want to rescue? The one in the sign for the chain restaurant, “Fryn’ Pan.”


Now, it’s not so much that the apostrophe is being used incorrectly. It’s not. But it ought not be asked to do that job alone — and that’s where the real abuse comes in.

One of the many (legitimate) uses of an apostrophe is to take the place of letters left out of a word. One can assume that “Fryn’ Pan” is short for “Frying Pan.” Do you see the problem here? We’re missing not one, but two letters out of “Frying.” Thus, the Fryn’ Pan sign should read: “Fry’n’ Pan.”

Too many apostrophes? To that, I would simply say, every apostrophe used improperly is too many. But an apostrophe used correctly is never an ugly sight.

(Want to make sure you aren’t guilty of apostrophe abuse? This site might help.)