Warning: grammar rant ahead…
FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, PEOPLE, NEVER EVER USE AN APOSTROPHE WHEN PLURALIZING A WORD!
Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I don’t know what is so confusing about this, but I encounter this mistake many times a day. Because I had an excellent English teacher in high school who was a big influence on me (thank you, Mrs. Noland), I am known among my friends and colleagues as a bit of a grammar nazi. In fact, I am a proud member of the Facebook group I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. I am comfortable with this.
If you are writing anything for public consumption, using bad grammar and misspelling words makes you look, at worst, unintelligent, and, at best, careless.
While I can overlook many grammatical errors that result from misunderstanding subtler nuances of the English language, this particular rule is so easy, I can’t understand where the source of confusion comes from. Apostrophes are for contractions and possessives. Never for plurals.
I understand that keeping it’s vs. its straight can be tricky, since its is the one case where there is no apostrophe in a possessive, but this still has nothing to do with pluralization.
So get it straight, people. Please.
Repeat after me: I will never use an apostrophe when pluralizing a word.
Ahh, I feel much better.
I should also mention that I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar has been turned into a very amusing book, which my friend Amy was nice enough to give to me a few days ago – she knows me well. I highly recommend the hard copy version.