For my final Grammar Hammer of 2015, I tackle where to place the apostrophe when writing about the transition from 2015 to 2016:
Dear Grammar Hammer,
Each December, I get really confused. When I talk to my friends about that celebration on December 31, do I ask what they’re doing for New Years? Or is it New Year’s?
Signed, Stymied in Times Square
Here are my quick tips for minding the Ps, Qs, and apostrophes of your holiday celebrations.
When you make your rounds on December 31, you are celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. The parties on December 31 are celebrating New Year’s Eve. Because it’s the eve of the new year, you should include an apostrophe-S at the end of the word “year” to show possession.
When you ask your friends, “What are you doing for New Year’s?” remember that the colloquial New Year’s is a shorter version of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, so it should include the apostrophe.
On January 1, you are celebrating New Year’s Day (the first day of the new year). However, when you show up for brunch on January 1, drop the possessive, wish your hosts “Happy New Year,” and enjoy the festivities.
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