1. Leeds Living
  2. Culture Vulture
  3. A grown up’s guide to the apostrophe: Fucking Apostrophes book review

A grown up’s guide to the apostrophe: Fucking Apostrophes book review

23 February 2016
A grown up’s guide to the apostrophe: Fucking Apostrophes book review
There are two kinds of people in the world: people who know how to use the apostrophe, and people who dont’. It was the latter group that inspired Leeds-based copywriter Simon Griffin to publish his tongue-in-cheek book, the aptly titled “Fucking Apostrophes”.

Unexpectedly successful

Initially written as a self-promotional piece to drum up new business, and designed by Music agency in Manchester (who Griffin credits half of the book’s success to: “The elegant, old-fashioned feel helps add a lot of charm and credibility to all the vulgar words!”), the book’s popularity has far surpassed its author’s expectations.

“Things really kicked off when David Marsh wrote a glowing review of it on the Guardian Style blog,” he says. “After that, the whole first edition sold out in 24 hours and I started taking pre-orders for the second edition.”

A coffee table staple

At a neat 60 pages, the compact guide is laid out satisfyingly like an old school grammar book. Light and portable, it’s perfect to give as a playful gift to any repeat apostrophe offenders.

Described as “A guide to show you where you can stick them”, the book covers the basic rules of apostrophes which Griffin is the first to admit are not as “basic” as commonly assumed. Admitting this lesser-shouted about truth in his introduction, he writes, “The first thing you need to know about apostrophes is this: Despite what everyone might say, they’re not really that simple.”

Covering the most common offenders, including Contractions (the it’s, isn’ts, and won’ts), Possessives (the lady’s and ladies’), and Plurals (but not plural’s), Griffin’s book is a handy, amusing companion that makes savvy use of pop culture.

It’s these amusing examples throughout that turn what could have been another punctuation companion into a bona fide page-turner. As demonstrated in the Possessive Fucking Apostrophes chapter:

Lance Armstrong’s test results = The test results of Lance Armstrong

and later in the Pronouns and Fucking Apostrophes chapter:

“That is nobody’s business,” said Mr Berlusconi in a statement to the press.

You can still buy an original second edition of Fucking Apostrophes for £12+p&p through the official website. Alternatively, you can wait until Icon release further copies later this year.

By
Sophie’s a jack of all writing trades. A freelance journalist and copywriter, writing culture features and opinion pieces makes her world go round.