Book Review: Simon Griffin’s Fucking Apostrophes makes us question the title of this article (because punctuation is hard)

Simon Griffin‘s pocket book dedicated to punctuation, Fucking Apostrophes, should be a permanent fixture on everyone’s desk. The 62 page resource is crammed full of just about every possible use of the apostrophe in the English language, delivered with a great deal of humour and ultimately leaving you with the thought: “Why the fuck are apostrophes so fucking complicated!?”

Even as a hardened editor, there are plenty of “how did I not know that??” moments in the book, though the author makes it clear that it’s not your fault for not knowing it. Rather, it’s the fault of the apostrophe for being so complicated. Did you know, for instance, that “there are no set rules to whether you should add in another s after the fucking apostrophe. The general consensus is that you should write it as you would speak it.” He then jumps into two examples whereby you would talk about “Miley Cyrus’s Father” and “The United States’ President” because you wouldn’t say “The United Stateses President”. Fair enough. Though without any hardened guidelines it seems you could technically get away with the opposite either scenario.

“Complicated? Yes, but that’s fucking apostrophes for you.”

Across 62 pages, Griffin drops plenty of truth bombs and fills the pages with as many explititives as an Irvine Welsh novel. And it’s easy to find particular enjoyment in the pop-culture references that fill the book’s examples. I leave you with one of note:

“Donald removed his hair and put it back in its cage.”

You’ll note the lack of apostrophe there. Because you don’t put a fucking apostrophe in “its” unless you’re trying to shorten “it is”!

So, if you ever need to remind yourself of the rules of apostrophes, and have a bit of a laugh along the way – or know of someone who would tick the same boxes – this is the book for you (and them).

Fucking Apostrophes is out now through Icon Books Ltd