If you type into Google’s search engine the term “two chihuahua’s,” complete with apostrophe, you’ll get plenty of hits that include the apostrophe. The search term “competing agenda’s” also brings up a lot of apostrophe-laden hits, as does “news camera’s.”
This is one of the most common writing errors I see online: apostrophes used to form plurals.
This apostrophe error “continues to appear, to the amusement of educated people, in signs and notices, especially in shop windows,” Fowler’s Modern English Usage writes. And if Fowler were alive today, I’m sure he’d add the Internet to that list as well.
Yet somehow it still surprises me. In my little corner of the world, a book called “Eats Shoots and Leaves” got the final word on this matter more than nine years ago. The multimillion-selling book called to the attention of an entire hemisphere the “greengrocers’ apostrophe” — the errant apostrophe used to form plurals like “carrot’s” and “apple’s” that famously show up in produce shop windows.