Thursday, 3 September 2009

"Furious backlash"? Who died?

The peevologists are at it again, this time in Preston. (Notice that the first person to reply to the article makes two spelling mistakes - Skitts Law in action.) Although we may not like it, councils are right to omit apostrophes from road and street signs. That way consistency lies.

Kill the Apostrophe goes too far, I think, in wanting an end to all of them, everywhere. The possessive apostrophe (John's) is unnecessary, but we probably need the omission apostrophe (we'll, don't).

Thanks to Grammar Girl for the heads-up, and to The Ridiculant for its take on this.

1 comment:

  1. I suppose a lot depends on the age of the street signs being replaced, and whether the apostrophe is commonly used among residents in / correspondents to the street.

    A quick peek at the street where I live (Whateley's Drive) reveals that the Royal Mail, Council Tax Valuation List and Navteq (Bing and Yahoo maps) have abolished the apostrophe, whereas TeleAtlas (Google maps) have retained it.

    And the street signs? All original (circa 1970s), all feature the apostrophe.

    Not so relevant for the current debate, but an old punctuation joke worth pondering:

    A teacher wrote the following on the board and asked the class to punctuate it:

    "A woman without her man is nothing"

    All the boys punctuated it thus:
    "A woman, without her man, is nothing."

    All the girls punctuated it thus:
    "A woman: without her, man is nothing."

    Punctuation is powerful!