Happy after Thanksgiving to my readers! Here in America — and in those places around the world where Americans gathered — we stuffed ourselves with huge amounts of turkey (or other protein), vegetables, potatoes, casseroles, and desserts — and who knows what else! We laughed with friends and family, we reconnected with those we don’t often see, and we filled our hearts with gratitude for all we had been given.
But it’s back to work now, and as you start celebrating other holidays, I’d like to make sure you know how to write them; three are often miswritten, usually because of that pesky little punctuation mark — the apostrophe.
We can skip right over the ones coming up in December, such as Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah), and Kwanzaa; none of those names includes an apostrophe. But there are a few others that do, even if there is not 100% agreement on one.
Oh, and for a good list of what we’re celebrating around the world in December, click here. I don’t know if it’s totally comprehensive, but there sure are a lot of holidays at the end of the year!
So, back to holidays needing apostrophes, starting with New Year’s: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, New Year’s anything. Yes, the apostrophe is required, and if you’re not sure why, check out the posts shown below:
January 7: Misplaced Apostrophes: Plurals
January 31: No Apostrophes in Plurals!
February 17: Misplaced Apostrophes: Contractions
June 8: Misplaced Apostrophes: Possessives
Then there’s Presidents’ Day. Or is President’s Day? Presidents Day?
There seems to be no consensus, but the two logical contenders are Presidents’ and Presidents. Presidents (with no apostrophe) seems to be winning, although I have no problem using Presidents’ with the apostrophe on the plural form. But please, folks — it’s NEVER President’s Day, because the idea was to pull two American presidents’ birthdays together to create a huge retail shopping experience. So it has to be plural.
And for more on that, here’s a wonderful article from the New York Times that explains why it’s acceptable to write it without the apostrophe: Whose Day?
The last holiday name requiring an apostrophe is St. Valentine’s Day, which is the celebration of St. Valentine. Here’s one more article about St. Valentine.
Obviously in any country there may other holidays whose names are supposed to include an apostrophe, but that would be something for each of you to know. I can only report on American holidays, but maybe my post can spur you to find out about your own!
As always, if you learned something that your network would benefit from, please share. Let’s help everyone look and sound as smart as they are!