Grammar rant after the jump. Here's a 1976 Spirit of Le Mans Widebody C3 Corvette, whose livery will become appropriate after you read my rant.

In the age of the Internet, the English language has taken quite a beating: text message spellings in common usage, misspellings, the death of the gerund. But nothing depresses and infuriates me more than the ever increasing misuse of the humble apostrophe.

The apostrophe has two basic uses:

  • The marking of the omission of one or more letters or numbers (as in the contraction of do not to don't, or 1976 to '76).
  • The marking of possessive case (as in the eagle's feathers, or in one month's time).

With only a few notable exceptions, PLEASE DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE TO MAKE A WORD PLURAL. Generally, the only time you use an apostrophe to create a plural is for written items that are not words established in English orthography (as in P's and Q's). But even that is open to heated debate.

So, friends, please write:

Ferraris often burst into flames and not Ferrari's often burst into flame's

Asshats don't know how to park their BMWs and not Asshat's don't know how to park their BMW's

I love cars from the 1960s rather than I love car's from the 1960's

Save your pixels, save your toner, save your keystrokes, and don't use an apostrophe to make a word plural. If you're weird like me, and this sort of thing interests you, there is a good discussion of specific situations that call for an apostrophe in the formation of a plural at Daily Writing Tips.

/end rant

Pic via Coolamundo