Apostrophe History

Historically the apostrophe was used - and still is used - to indicate a missing letter or letters:
e.g. isn't, can't, '90s.

When it came to possession, it was used to indicate a missing e:
e.g. "James's large piano" would have been written "Jameses large piano" which looks silly today!

Eventually it became widely used to indicate possession for all words, even when e had not been included before:
women's, deer's

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