Although incorrect apostrophe use didn’t make Microsoft’s list, it would easily make a list of the top ten errors I see. Lynne Truss wrote a delightful book about them, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Think of the apostrophe in contractions as standing in for the missing letter(s). In it’s, the apostrophe replaces the i in is. Possessive pronouns (its, his, theirs) never need an apostrophe. But singular nouns of possession should end in ’s—Elaine’s house, Kansas’s tax plan, blacksmith’s workshop. Plural possessives that already end in s just need an apostrophe: dancers’ shoes, dogs’ bones, countries’ embassies. And plural possessive nouns that don’t end in s should end in ’s, just as singular nouns do: The Children’s Hour.
Microsoft’s Editor is a useful feature, but it’s not comprehensive. WordRake goes beyond suggesting a sentence is “wordy” and suggests which words and phrases you can remove for clearer, more concise writing. Editor and WordRake complement each other, especially if you know you’d benefit from using editing tools to refine your writing. I know I do.
About the Author
Caroline Engle is WordRake’s Marketing Communications Specialist. She convinced WordRake to hire her as an intern after placing in editing competitions and writing a novel in a month. When she isn’t editing or writing copy, coordinating conference logistics, or helping improve WordRake’s functionality, she’s reading, going on ten-mile walks, or looking up flight prices. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.