How Do You Make Words Plural? Not With Apostrophes!
When you write about grammar, there are certain topics you feel you must address from time to time…like how to make words plural!
I’m not sure why people insist on adding an apostrophe when they want to make words plural. But it happens all the time these days.
Here’s an example: I read a story about Jenna Bush Hager being named the new co-host of the 4th hour of NBC’s Today show. Hager, who has been an NBC News correspondent since 2009 and a frequent fill-in host, will take the place of Kathie Lee Gifford who plans to leave the show in April.
In an article about Bush Hager’s new promotion, it mentions a book she co-authored with her twin sister, Barbara Pierce Bush.
I’m sure at some point, I knew that Jenna Bush Hager was a twin, but I was somewhat surprised to read it.
But I was absolutely aggravated to see that the title of the book the sisters Bush wrote was listed as Sister’s First.
At first, I thought a word was missing: “Sister’s First what?”
I was reminded of the old Golden Book, Baby’s First Book.
That’s not what they meant to write.
To make words plural, it’s sometimes a challenge.
If you have more than one goose, you actually have geese.
If you have more than one mouse, you really are dealing with mice.
More than one deer is still called deer.
But when you have more than one sister, what you have, even if they happen to be twins, are sisters.
There’s no apostrophe.
Apostrophes indicate possessive, not plural. That’s true about 99% of the time.
There’s one occasion in which you can use an apostrophe to make words plural. Sort of. The rule actually states that you use an apostrophe when you’re making individual letters plural. A perfect example would be this old phrase:
Mind your p’s and q’s.
But even this rule has a catch: you use the apostrophe for lowercase letters only, not uppercase.
But whether it’s lowercase or all caps, the plural of sister is still sisters.
No apostrophe, no matter how you cut it.