used to indicate a missing letter or letters (can’t, we’d) or a possessive (David’s book).
Don’t let anyone tell you that apostrophes don’t matter and we would be better off without them. Consider these four phrases, each of which means something different:
my sister’s friend’s books (refers to one sister and her friend).
my sister’s friends’ books (one sister with lots of friends).
my sisters’ friend’s books (more than one sister, and their friend).
my sisters’ friends’ books (more than one sister, and their friends).
The possessive in words and names ending in S normally takes an apostrophe followed by a second S (Jones’s, James’s), but be guided by pronunciation and use the plural apostrophe where it helps: Mephistopheles’, Waters’, Hedges’ rather than Mephistopheles’s, Waters’s, Hedges’s.
Plural nouns that do not end in S take an apostrophe and S in the possessive: children’s games, old folk’s home, people’s republic, etc.
Phrases such as butcher’s knife, collector’s item, cow’s milk, goat’s cheese, pig’s blood, hangman’s noose, writer’s cramp, etc are treated as singular.
Use apostrophes in phrases such as two days’ time, 12 years’ imprisonment and six weeks’ holiday, where the time period (two days) modifies a noun (time), but not in nine months pregnant or three weeks old, where the time period is adverbial (modifying an adjective such as pregnant or old) – if in doubt, test with a singular such as one day’s time, one month pregnant.
Some shops use an apostrophe, wrongly, to indicate a plural (“pea’s”), but will generally omit the apostrophe when one is actually required (“new seasons asparagus”), a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the greengrocer’s (or grocer’s) apostrophe. Try to avoid this.
•Marsh, David and Amelia Hodgson: Guardian Style (Guardian Books, 2010)
In case you were wondering, the logo for the band came to me in a dream. I woke up and knew it had to be in Cooper Black. I knew it had to have a Mod-style roundel. One thing I didn’t think of at the time was that the apostrophe between the last zero and the “s” was incorrect. We are multiple, not singular. But thankfully, Chelsea was kind enough to point this out to me recently. I now present you with the corrected logo (see above). Huzzah.
Now that you have read this far, I can tell that you are interested in dreams. Normally I’m not the type to share them with you, but as this was a dream regarding The 50/50s I shall divulge. Read on if you dare. There we were. Playing a show in the basement of a library. We had launched into our new cover song, a mashup of The Dream Syndicate’s “The Days of Wine and Roses” and Tears for Fears “Mad World” (here in the waking world, this not our current cover). Just then I spotted someone leaving the show with my copy of The Royal Guardsmen “Snoopy vs The Red Baron” 45. Naturally I had to nab the culprit, so I passed my guitar to that “Max” kid from Roswell to takeover (unfortunately not John Doe). What does this all mean? I think it means that in 5 years when they make our biopic When I First Met You: The Story of The Fifty-Fifties, they’ll cast Jason Behr as myself. You laugh now, but you’d better start getting your casting suggestions in now!