Many argue that the incorrect use or omission of the apostrophe to indicate possession in the English Language does not matter. They say its use is antiquated and its loss signifies little in sentence construction. I would beg to disagree. Firstly, it helps clarify meaning and its omission can lead to confusion over who possesses what. It performs a very important role to ensure subtlety of meaning is correctly conveyed. Secondly, and possibly of more importance, is what its misuse and omission symbolises. It is indicative of an erosion and downgrading of English language skills in the populous. We live in an age of ‘text speak’, poor grammar, spelling and syntax. I refuse this ‘creep’ towards an ‘anything goes’ or ‘it will do’ approach to English. I refuse, as a matter of principle, to write in anything other than correct English when writing texts or emails.
Can I share an anecdote which illustrates my point. Whilst studying for a further degree at university I was attending a lecture on psychology. To my chagrin I discovered that the lecturer, did not know that “it’s” could only ever signify “it is” and could never function as a possessive pronoun. Luckily for him, I had some respect for his knowledge and understanding of psychology and chose not to correct him publicly in front of 150 students. However, his poor grammatical understanding surely shows that there is a creeping malaise of poor English that reaches to the highest level in the educational system in the UK. He was a symptom of a generation of people who have been poorly instructed in basic grammar at school.
We must insist on higher and more exacting standards and be intolerant of the misappropriation of the English Language.