See this article.
Apparently the apostrophe, the oft-misused and thorn-shaped punctuation mark, has been poking holes in the Web world for years. Poor computer programming on Web pages – pages where you and I enter our names, addresses and mothers’ maiden names – has created a problem for all kinds of people.
As a writer, poor punctuation is a pet peeve and I’ve seen plenty of confusion created by apostrophe misuse. But from correct usage?
That’s right. The faulty Web code can’t handle enter’s (or return’s) next-door neighbor. Because poorly coded Web sites only understand regular letters and numbers, using punctation when completing a form will literally interfere with the Web page itself – pretty much canning any chance you had to book that flight or pay a bill. Instead of a confirmation, you stare at an error page wondering if you should click again and if so, will your card be charged twice?
Although many mainstream sites have fixed their pages to fully accept punctation and diacritical marks, you can never be certain if, like Mr. O’Dowd in the AP article, you’ll need to lose your identity just to purchase a great book.
This hits close to home – well, actually right at my home – since my address has the misfortune of requiring an apostrophe. If your personal information has this same thorn-in-its-side, be safe and skip the apostrophe when working the Web.
Okay – let the punctuation and grammar examinations begin. I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t make a mistake here.