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November 16, 2006


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reza jangi

Dear Mrs.Gaertner-Johnston
thank you for usefull notes.
king regard

Clare Lynch

Love the site! I have recently set up my own blog about writing and am in awe of yours. Isn't the apostrophe just the most beautiful punctuation mark?


Clare, I have to say that I have never thought of the apostrophe as beautiful. Yes, there are beautiful turns of phrase and beautiful analogies. But I see the apostrophe as more pedestrian--simply useful.

In any case, I admire your passion for punctuation. Be sure to visit www.nationalpunctuationday.com (listed in my Writing Resources at left) to see what another punctuation lover, Jeff Rubin, is doing. He even sells punctuation jewelry.

Enjoy writing your blog.


Steven Vore


How does this apply to our list of to-do items - is it a list of "to-dos" or "to-do's"?

I see it both ways (and a google search of this site shows many instances of "Learn the secrets of productive writing to move through your to-do's faster" though that seems to contradict this post.)



Steven, thanks for asking. I am using "dos and don'ts" because readers are unlikely to be confused by the word "dos" when it appears with "don'ts." However, "to-dos" might confuse readers, depending on the context. I think that word can go either way.

You may also find inconsistencies over time on this blog. If I decide to change a particular usage, I don't go back and correct earlier entries to be consistent. That's just not the nature of a blog--even one on business writing!



Lynn, I wasn't as much commenting on inconsistancy as just trying to find an answer for my son; believe me, no picking-on-Lynn was intended. Thanks for the reply, you've confirmed what I found through my research - that there's no "standard" way to represent the multiple items on a to-do list.


Hi, Steven. Thanks for your follow-up. I don't feel picked on at all!

Glad to be helpful.


Hello! So... still confused slightly. Which is correct please:

this year's holiday party, or
this years' holiday party, or
this years holiday party?


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Terri, your first example is correct.


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