Forbidden to use apostrophes

Subject: Forbidden to use apostrophes
From: John Bell <johnbell -at- MNSINC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 01:09:08 -0400

I'm curious about the rule your editor has laid down about not using
apostrophes, even for possesives. Is it the possesives she objects to or
the apostrophes? I wondering if she (or some source she used) decided that
possesives are undesirable and so formulated a simplistic rule of "eliminate

Does she also outlaw the possesives that do not use apostrophes (hers, his,
its)? Although "his" and "hers" are not common in tech writing, you will
probably use "its" from time to time.

--- John Bell
johnbell -at- mnsinc -dot- com

P.S. After I wrote my first draft of this message, I re-wrote it eliminating all
apostrophes. It was a pain, but it was possible. I think it makes the writing
awkward to eliminate possesives. For example, I said "the rule your editor has
laid down", when the original was "your editor's rule". Like most folks, I agree
that eliminating contractions helps ESL readers (and my audience has a sizeable
percentage of them). I disagree that possesives need to be recast.

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