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Photos – no apostophe

This is becoming one of my pet hates 🙂

There seems to be an increase in the number of people using an apostrophe when writing about photos – that it, people writing photo’s instead of photos.

“I will bring my photo’s to show you”

What do the photos own? NOTHING! So there is no need for an apostrophe to be there and it annoys pedants like me when it is there!

I’m struggling to think of situations where anyone would talk about photos owning anything so it’s probably fairly safe to say that photos should never have an apostrophe added!

And given that adding an apostrophe is actually more work, I don’t see the appeal myself!

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2 Responses to Photos – no apostophe

  • Keith says:

    Hi, it is quite correct for the word photo’s to be written using an apostrophe. This is not an apostrophe used to denote possession but indicates omission. Photo’s is a shortening of the word photographs. The word photograph means light (photo) – drawing (graph) therefore to use the word photos without the apostrophe literally means ‘lights’. The omission apostrophe used in a similar circumstance would be gov’t for government.

    Having said all that, it is unlikely that most people would be using the ‘ in photo’s for the correct reason and in modern english usage photos has become commonly acceptable.


    • tashword says:

      Hi Keith,

      I agree that the apostrophe in photo’s could be said to represent the missing letters from photographs, but as people use the word photo and make it plural as photo’s the apostrophe is generally misplaced.

      Thanks for adding your comment and sharing your knowledge of grammar 🙂

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