Punctuation: Objective or Subjective?

STOP sign
Here’s a great quote from Carey’s ‘Mind the Stop’ about the nature of punctuation – “To say that no two persons punctuate exactly alike would no doubt be an exaggeration, but most people would probably agree that punctuation is a matter not only of rules but of personal taste.”
After decades of working with words, I know this to be true. The tendency in current usage is to be sparing with the comma, but be careful this doesn’t affect the meaning.

TIP: Read G.V. Carey’s ‘MIND THE STOP. A Brief Guide to Punctuation’

The Apostrophe: friend or foe?

Despite decades of study including time spent at universities, writers and journalists often misuse the apostrophe. Here are six tips:
1. Use an apostrophe and ‘s’ to form the possessive case of singular nouns (a year’s work). [For plural nouns in the possessive case, use “two years’ work”.]
2. Same goes for the possessive case of indefinite pronouns (anyone’s guess).
3. Personal pronouns do not require an apostrophe (your/yours).
4. To form the possessive of compound nouns, make the last element the possessive (daughter-in-law’s cooking or daughters-in-laws’ cooking).
5. To show joint ownership, make the last name possessive (Mark and Jane’s villa).
6. To show separate ownership, make each name possessive (Mark’s and Ben’s hats).
Tell me if you like these and I’ll post some more …