Based in Noblesville, Indiana, Curtis writes the syndicated humor column, Grammar Guy. He also likes to write for startups.

Good grammar is the life of the holiday party

Good grammar is the life of the holiday party

 Photo by  Thought Catalog  on  Unsplash

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Grammar: it’s everywhere. And, as soon as someone identifies himself as an expert, you can almost always safely assume he’s going to judge you anytime you end a sentence with a preposition. That’s the quickest way to get on the naughty list!

I’m not here to bah-humbug your grammar; I just want to help improve your grammar in order to make your holiday season more holly and jolly.

Good grammar is wonderful because it opens doors—to job interviews, romantic relationships, and even elegant holiday parties where people drink mulled wine and feast on roasted chestnuts. By improving your grammar, your Facebook friends will rightly assume you’ve started buying one of those brand new Lexuses (Lexi?) with a giant bow on it for your spouse.

When you want to sign your family’s collective name on a holiday card, how do you write it? Is it “The Millers” or “The Miller’s?”

Everyone likes a good egg nog-infused party (after all, that’s why you’re improving your grammar, right?), and apostrophes are like sentence confetti, adding a fun flair to your scintillating syntax. But a misplaced apostrophe is like confetti at a funeral—inappropriate and impossible to undo.

To make your last name plural, never add an apostrophe. Just don’t do it. The Millers went to the ice skating rink is correct. Adding an apostrophe to your last name makes it possessive: Did you see The Millers’ cool new inflatable Santa?

If your last name ends with s, z, x, ch or sh, simply add es to make it plural: Season’s greetings from The Foxes. If your last name ends in any other letter (including y), simply add an s: The Honeycutts are incredibly photogenic.

So, if you’re considering adding your family’s name on the back of your sleigh, write The Millers. Adding an apostrophe will simply get you uninvited from those swanky holiday parties, leaving you sadly to drink your mulled wine alone while you wistfully stalk everyone else’s happy Christmas sweater-filled photos on Facebook.

Do you even know how to adult?

Do you even know how to adult?