Dr. Peter Weil quoted in the Wall Street Journal Article by Mike Cherney.
"Today’s apostrophe rules started materializing in the mid-1800s in the publishing industry, Mr. Crystal says. They weren’t always intuitive, such as the rule placing possessive apostrophes in nouns but not pronouns.
'You can say ‘the cat’s bowl,’ you can say ‘its bowl,’ but there’s no apostrophe in the second one. Logically, there should be.'
The mark was deemed important enough to appear on the first commercially successful typewriter, the Sholes and Glidden, in the 1870s, says Peter Weil, an associate professor emeritus at the University of Delaware who has studied early typewriters. Symbols such as '#,' '$' and '!' were excluded.
Early keyboards, he says, offered marks that were 'the lowest common denominator of what almost anybody would want to use.' " -exerpt from Cherny's article. To read the full story, click here!