Today a crime is going to help us discuss apostrophes.
After this year’s Super Bowl, Tom Brady realized that his game jersey was missing from his locker in the NRG Stadium in Houston. The theft made news because Brady told police that the jersey was worth half a million dollars. (You can download the police report here: https://htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/files/brady-jersey-stolen-1487693415.pdf)
What interests us today, however, are the apostrophes. Here’s the summary from the police report:
On 2/05/17, the City of Houston hosted Super Bowl LI In the NRG Stadium. Shortly after winning the game, New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady noticed his game jersey missing from his locker in the Patriot’s designated locker room.
Would you say that Brady was the Patriot’s quarterback – or the Patriots‘ quarterback? The answer is easy if you ask yourself whether you’re talking about the Patriots – or the Patriot.
The team is the Patriots, right? (Not the Patriot!) So it’s the Patriots’ quarterback and the Patriots’ designated locker room. The apostrophes in the report need to be corrected:
Shortly after winning the game, New England Patriots‘ quarterback Tom Brady noticed his game jersey missing from his locker in the Patriots‘ designated locker room.
Although apostrophes befuddle many writers, they’re not difficult at all. Just write the word or name, and put an apostrophe after the last letter.
Tom Brady is the quarterback of the Patriots.
the Patriots’ quarterback
Let’s try another one: the victory of Tom Brady.
Tom Brady’s victory
Here’s one more: Cyrus Jones is the cornerback for the Patriots. Let’s try the uniform of Cyrus Jones.
Cyrus Jones’ uniform
Looking for the last letter of the word or name will help you place the apostrophe correctly every time.
For more practice with apostrophes, click here.
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Criminal Justice Report Writing by Jean Reynolds
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter