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Don't Put The Apostrophe In The Wrong Place On Your Holiday Cards

Stop the madness.
12/03/2015 07:07pm ET | Updated December 4, 2015
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When signing your family's holiday cards this season, disabuse yourself of the notion that adding an apostrophe to your last name "looks right" or "makes sense." It's not right, and it doesn't. Here's why.

You're not trying to make your last name possessive, which is what adding an apostrophe does (the Smith's). Instead, you're making your last name plural to indicate that the card is from all of your family members (the Smiths).

So do as the holy grammar gods intended: simply add an "s" at the end to pluralize most last names. If your last name ends in "s," "x," "z," a soft "ch," or "sh," add an "es" to the end instead.

While we're on the subject, let's discuss uppercase letters. If you're wishing your recipients a "happy and healthy new year," don't capitalize new year. Only use uppercase letters if you are referring to the actual holiday, as in, "We're looking forward to seeing you New Year's Eve!"

And unless they start a sentence, the "happy" in "happy Hanukkah" and "merry" in "merry Christmas" are lowercase.

If you already sent out your holiday cards with a grammatical error or two, don't worry -- most people won't notice or care. And while you're at it, don't get too worried about sending your holiday cards early. It's entirely acceptable to send cards throughout the month of January, so long as you tweak the message to focus on the new year ahead instead of the holiday season that's passed.

Our tip: Always include a short hand-written note, if you can. And if you're still looking to purchase stamps, these adorable Charlie Brown Christmas ones are pretty perfect.

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