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Whats wrong with this sentence? If you have a grasp of basic punctuation, you'll know that the correct way to spell that first word is "What's." It's a contraction of the words "what" and "is," so you need an apostrophe.
As simple as that might seem, the use of apostrophes has long been a sticking point for many people, and according to retired journalist John Richards, the problem has gotten worse, particularly with possessive nouns. It's become so bad that in 2019 Richards shuttered his Apostrophe Protection Society after 18 years.
The group's goal was to act as a resource for writers. Richards saw a need after correcting punctuation mistakes during his tenure as a writer and copy editor, especially with "the way the English language is evolving during use."
But his efforts fell mostly on deaf ears, Richards suggested in announcing the society's end. "We, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!" he said. For those still looking for apostrophe advice, the website remains accessible, "for reference and examples," but no interaction with editors is available, and no updates are being made.
- In Latin, writers originally used the word "questio" at the end of a sentence to indicate a question; it eventually developed into the question mark.
- The ancient Romans came up with the period to indicate a break between sentences. Before that, sentences just ran together.
- Recitations of the English alphabet used to have a de facto 27th letter: the ampersand (&), which represents the conjunction "and."