Based on my readers’ recent submissions, it is easy to see a pattern developing. One of the most common grammatical mistakes involves using an apostrophe when making a noun plural. What makes this error so puzzling is that it is so easy to avoid. You just need to add an “s.” The apostrophe is simply not needed.

As always, you can submit your Grammar Cop photos by tweeting them to me (@ThomRainer).

The double meat will cost you extra, but the unnecessary apostrophe is on the house. (via Dan Kassis)

No double meat here, but you do get double apostrophes. (via Dan Kassis)

While not the same type of mistake as the previous two, this sign is definitely a knockout. (via Micah Fries)


  1. Phil McCheddar says

    I admit I sometimes use an apostrophe for a plural noun when the noun consists of alliterative letters. For example, when referring to a plurality of pdf type documents, I might write pdf’s because I think it looks slightly more comprehensible than pdfs.
    In the 1st photo above, without the apostrophe I would have wondered what a combos (singular) is. I’m not very familiar with the term combo (living in the UK!)

  2. A.D. Fountain says

    I’m new to your excellent website and pleased to find your “Grammar Cop” section. In your Dec. 5 article, “One Common Factor in Churches That Start Declining,” you wrote “less families,” but wouldn’t “fewer families” be correct?

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