The so-called grocer's apostrophe, where it is used incorrectly in plurals, is one of the most common mistakes made by native speakers in English. Why is it that something so simple causes so many problem? The apostrophe only has two functions, yet it seems that many people leave school with little or no idea of either of them.
I saw the example in the title in a market in Soho and wondered what on earth possessed the stall holder to put the apostrophe in one fruit, but not in the other. Maybe he thought that imported or citrus fruits require an apostrophe. If he had done it in both, at least his error would have shown consistency.
Not teaching native speakers, I don't see this error as much in my students' work. Why is it that foreign learners seem to handle this better than many NESs?
Categories: Grammar Topics