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English Teacher's Hilarious Tutorial Will Ensure Your Holiday Cards Are Free From Mistakes

Photo: Any Lane / Pexels 
family with christmas trees

As we ease from autumn into winter, we near the beginning of the holiday season. That hallowed time of glittering lights, matching sweaters, and, of course, family holiday cards.

But not all traditions are worth keeping — like incorrectly spelling your family’s last name on those precious cards.

An English teacher gave a hilarious tutorial to ensure your holiday cards are free of mistakes. 

Heather Nianouris shared her annual holiday tutorial with the wider online world, offering a grammar lesson on properly pluralizing last names.

At the beginning of her video, titled “Christmas Card PSA from Heather Nianouris,” she revealed her reasons for posting her yearly tutorial, saying, “Sometime in November, thousands of us, perhaps millions of us across America, got our families into the car, we drove to a field somewhere, around dusk-ish time. We planned the outfits… so that we could take a picture like this.”

She held up a photo of herself and her family, standing in what seemed to be a wheat field, in sun-dappled light, smiling.

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In true English-teacher fashion, she shared that incorrect grammar is her pet peeve, although she assured her audience that she thinks progress in this particular arena has been made, as she reported that the Christmas cards she received last year had a total of zero misplaced apostrophes. 

“Either people are getting it, or they’re not sending me Christmas cards,” she said. 

English Teacher's Hilarious Tutorial Will Ensure Your Holiday Cards Are Free From Mistakes Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Like the professional she is, Nianouris made a presentation complete with a Post-It Note board and perfectly rendered handwriting to display the rules of grammar that so many people disregard, especially on their Christmas cards.

The English teacher proclaimed that she wanted to help families ensure that the grammar on their hallowed holiday cards was correct.

“An apostrophe plus your name, it’s wrong,” she declared. “It’s always wrong. When is it wrong? Always and forever.”

She then revealed the correct way to pluralize a last name, explaining, “If you want to pluralize your last name, all you do — You add an ‘S.’”

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Nianouris broke her grammar lesson down to the real nitty gritty, listing out the letters of the alphabet to add an ‘S’ to in order to pluralize your last name, which included all the letters except ‘S,’ ‘X’ and ‘Z.’ 

   

   

She moved to the next section of her lesson, stating, “If your name ends in ‘S, X, Z, Ch, or Sh,’ you’re gonna add ‘-es.’” Nianouris used her own name as an example, writing out “The Nianourises” on her poster, along with other examples, including, “The Hernandezes, the Bushes, and the Branches.”

“I know Nianourises looks weird,” she said. “That’s a mouthful. So, if you’re one of these special snowflakes that has to add ‘-es,’ here’s my suggestion: Just do ‘The Nianouris Family.’”

“Please notice what is not there,” she continued. “What is not there? An apostrophe. At all. Ever.” Nianouris then shared a common question she receives, which is, “What if my name ends in ‘Y’?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is — You guessed it — Add an 'S.'

But there was one surprise in store that broke all the rules: If your name ends in ‘-ch’ but makes a ‘K’ sound, you add just an ‘S,’ not an ‘-es,’ which, as Nianouris explained, “negates the rule from earlier.”

English Teacher's Hilarious Tutorial Will Ensure Your Holiday Cards Are Free From Mistakes Photo: SeventyFour / Shutterstock

For those who think this is a new English grammar rule, Nianouris had news: “You learned it wrong. This has always been the rule. It always will be the rule, forever and always: Apostrophes do not form plurals,” she exclaimed. Nianouris ended her lesson with a call to action, proclaiming, “Share the news. I know we can do it, because gosh darn it, grammar is worth it.”

So, write your Christmas wish lists, hang your stockings, and write those cards with your family's name spelled correctly, all thanks to Nianouris, a tireless and committed educator. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.