Using apostrophes in plurals

The apostrophe is one thing that a lot of people struggle with but it’s something I expect to see professional writers get correct at least 90% of the time.

One common error I see, which surprises me every time, is using an apostrophe to show a plural — eg I love putting apostrophe’s in the wrong place.

The most common times people get this wrong seem to be:
– with words they don’t normally pluralise (eg my room doesn’t have an assortment of blue’s but many different blues)
– years (eg I wasn’t born 1980’s but the 1980s)
– numbers (eg a bingo caller wouldn’t say ‘all the four’s’ but ‘all the fours‘)
– initials or acronyms (eg I haven’t bought any DVD’s this month but I have bought a few DVDs)
– whenever they use the phrase Dos and Don’ts (generally going for Do’s, sometimes with the even more hideous Don’t’s at the end)

The simple rule for this is if you’re pluralising something then don’t throw in an apostrophe.


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