Should Taylor Swift’s ‘Tortured Poets Department’ Have an Apostrophe? – The New York Times

Taylor Swift
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Grammarians wonder: Should there be an apostrophe in “The Tortured Poets Department”?

When Taylor Swift announced at the Grammys that the title of her new album would be “The Tortured Poets Department,” what was your reaction?
Maybe it was: “My gosh! Her first new album in more than a year. I can’t wait!”
Maybe it was: “Ho-hum. I’d rather listen to Shostakovich/Metallica/Baby Shark.”
Or, just possibly, it could have been:
“Shouldn’t there be an apostrophe in that title?”
Yes, plenty of people, upon hearing the biggest music announcement of the year, started thinking about diacritical marks and then talking about them on social media.
“I ruined this album release for my students by making it a lesson on apostrophe usage,” Erin Weinberg, an instructor in the department of English, theater, film and media at the University of Manitoba, wrote on X. (Others opined via Reddit, TikTok and elsewhere.)
If you do insist on adding an apostrophe, there are two potential places. It could be before the “S”: The Tortured Poet’s Department. That means the department belongs to just one poet.
“Is it a department just for a single tortured poet, where they can sit alone and write tortured poetry?” Weinberg asked.
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