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To DovidBT: Right you are. I could lie and say I planted those errors, but that would be too Trump-like.

Akuperma is right that Skype and other computer/internet face-to-face communication have contributed to slovenly writing. One important thing to remember, though, is that when writing, there is no opportunity for the writer to see the face of his readers and know that they have not understood him. Therefore, writing requires more clarity. Texting does not require quick responses. It requires coherent responses, and clear English adds coherence. (Some texters require quick responses. Make them cool their heels.)

Today’s tip: Learn when to use – and when not to use – an apostrophe. There is a headline in today’s YWN news that “Husband Murder’s Wife”. The apostrophe should not be used.

A few apostrophe rules:

Use it to make possessives. Don’t use it to make plurals, or third person singulars (I murder, you murder, he/she/it murders).

Things (not people) generally should not be put in the possessive. E.g., the bus’es wheels don’t go round and round, but the wheels on the bus go round and round. There are lots of exceptions to this rule, e.g., the day’s news, tonight’s dinner, but we should avoid them anyway.

And the phrases “should of” or “would of” are wrong. They are misunderstandings of the contractions for “should have” and “would have”, which should be written as “should’ve” and “would’ve”.

And speaking of contractions, they require an apostrophe: Don’t, not dont; can’t, not cant, ain’t, not aint.