No-one can seriously deny that computers are a wonderful tool, one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century, now indispensible in many walks of life. But they can wind you up like nothing else.

Everyone who uses them will have experienced the fury and frustration that comes when they crash, when work vanishes for no apparent reason, or when they refuse to do what you tell them to. My computers at home and at work get sworn at more than anything else I own.

The laptop at home made my blood boil again earlier this week, for a different reason. While joyriding on the internet one evening I stumbled across a website called “Kill the apostrophe”.

According to its homepage, it is a campaign to remove the apostrophe from the English language, on the grounds that it only annoys those who know how to use it and confuses those who don’t.

As someone who’s a “grammar Nazi” - and proud of it - I didn’t buy this for a second. The only grounds for abolishing any punctuation marks are laziness and stupidity.

I don’t defend all punctuation marks. Inserting an exclamation mark after a humorous remark seems too much like laughing at your own joke. They’re best reserved for genuine exclamations.

But the idea that apostrophes could safely be dispensed with doesn’t stand up for long. Without them much written language would be confusing or meaningless .

“Hell know”, or “Were where we were last year” or “ill tell you” may not make much sense at first glance. Insert the apostrophes to create “he’ll”, “we’re” and “I’ll” and it all becomes clear.

The same goes for commas. Omit them and they can change your meaning. “The editor says the columnist is an idiot” means something very different from “The editor, says the columnist, is an idiot.”

But apostrophes confuse those who don’t know how to use them, claim the Kill the Apostrophe brigade. It amazes me that anyone doesn’t know. I was taught about them at primary school - and it was all repeated at secondary school in case we’d missed it.

Maybe not all schools teach it. A junior reporter at a paper where I used to work had no idea where apostrophes went and always asked me.

I didn’t mind or blame her. I imagined it was the fault of her schooling. But you would expect a reporter to know the rules better than the baker near where I grew up who called her shop “Claires Cake’s”.

There’s a belief among some that grammar and punctuation rules are old-fashioned or a badge of snobbery or a means of oppression, and that it’s somehow breezily modern and liberated to ignore them.

So Sainsbury’s retains its apostrophe but Morrisons doesn’t. We get deliberate misspellings like Kwik-Fit, or the ditching of capital letters in brands like facebook, intel, bp and citibank.

ScottishPower retains its capital but drops the space between the two words, for some reason.

But it’s not snobbery to respect your language or old-fashioned to abide by its rules. All communication, written or spoken, should first and foremost be clear.

Ignore the rules and you lose clarity. In that sense they’re the opposite of oppression. They help you express yourself.

And what the apostrophe death squads or trendy misspellers mightn’t realise is that there are plenty of rules that we all abide by.

The old saying in journalism that “dog bites man” isn’t news but “man bites dog” is demonstrates one of the rules of word order: that the subject comes before the verb and the object after it.

And when using adjectives, we tend to put those describing size and shape in front of those describing age.

That’s why we say “little old lady” instead of “old little lady”. Saying “old little lady” could suggest that there are two little ladies and you’re referring to the older of them.

I’m not saying that language should never change. It always has and always will. If it didn’t we’d still be speaking Anglo-Saxon. Nor should we denied the word “twittersphere” because Shakespeare didn’t use it.

But there are some changes we should resist. Deliberate misspellings like “Kwik-Fit” or “thru” are one.

And using nouns as verbs is almost always ugly. “To impact” is an unpleasant turn of phrase and “to action” is worse.

I’d add misuse of apostrophes to the banned list. It’s enough to make me i’ll.