We’ve all been there: the holiday card rush is on and you’re wondering just how to address your holiday cards, (as if the grammar police are hot on your trail). Well, wonder no more!

Mama and former teacher Heather Breedlove Nianouris is here to save your holiday grammar woes with a now-viral Facebook post. Read on for the quick holiday card grammar PSA.

Photo: Vince Fleming via Unsplash

So what is this mama’s (who even literally wears a “grammar” police hat) holiday card pet-peeve? It’s the misplaced apostrophe! In her video clip, Nianouris pulls out a giant post-it note flip chart and illustrates the correct use of the apostrophe with your last name. So, when should you whip out that apostrophe? Spoiler alert: basically never.

“An apostrophe, plus your last name is wrong. It’s always wrong,” Nianouris says. “Always and forever.”

Nianouris also explains how pluralize last names in a grammatically correct way. Not sure how to do it? It’s easy! Simply add an “s” to the end of the last name, unless their last name ends in S,X,Z, ch or sh: then you add an “es” at the end. And, like so many things in English grammar—there are exceptions. If “ch” makes the “k” sound, then just add an “s.”

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What’s the one take-away you should get from this video that first surfaced last year? Never, ever, EVER add an apostrophe “s.” That’s it!

—Erica Loop

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