"It's not spiders I dislike, just people." -Petra

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why does the English language use an apostrophe and an s to indicate possession? Does the apostrophe indicate that the s is an abbreviation of something else? (And if so, what?)

- pippin galadriel moonchild

A: Dear Pippin,
The apostrophy serves to distinguish between the plural and the possessive. We take this for granted, but the few exceptions to this rule (such as "its") throw lots of people off.

A: Dear pippin,
In Germanic languages, the genetive case is sometimes marked by -es. English is a germanic language, so the original form of English possessive/genetive case (when we still had case) was probably -es as well. Thus the apostrophe stands for the missing e.
::: Latro :::