Happy Valentine-apostrophe-s Day

I noticed that one of the most popular posts on the blog this week is our protracted discussion of the apostrophe in Fathers’/Father’s Day (continued here) because tomorrow is … drum roll, please …Valentine’s Day.

And this apostrophe isn’t controversial at all, thankfully. This pseudo-holiday is named for Saint Valentine (the History Channel has a very nice page on the unfortunate lover), and since the day belongs to him, grammatically it’s a straightforward possessive. So, stick the apostrophe before the -s and worry about more important things. Like giving your English teacher chocolate.

Of course, I could muddy the waters by reminding you that there is a countable common noun “valentine” (the card that you might send/receive), and thus a plural noun “valentines,” so if the day were actually re-named for the cards … well, never mind. If you hit on this page looking for the correct spelling, I doubt very much you’ll appreciate that line of thought.

Which reminds me to send a public v/Valentine to my lovely wife. Who said I’m not a romantic?

Author: Nigel Caplan

Nigel Caplan, Ph.D., is an associate professor of ESL and materials developer in Delaware, in the United States.

3 thoughts on “Happy Valentine-apostrophe-s Day”

  1. Finally, someone getting to what *really* matters about Valentine’s day! Not romance, not capitalist conspiracy, but grammatical correctness.
    Thank you.

    Monica

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