RIP The Apostrophe
Well, maybe not yet. But that’s what’s happening in Birmingham, England, where, after years of sliding down a slippery slope of non-use on street signs, the apostrophe has been banned altogether.
Councilor Martin Mullaney, who heads the city’s transport scrutiny committee, said he decided to act after yet another interminable debate into whether “Kings Heath,” a Birmingham suburb, should be rewritten with an apostrophe.
“Apostrophes denote possessions that are no longer accurate, and are not needed,” he said. “More importantly, they confuse people. If I want to go to a restaurant, I don’t want to have an A-level (high school diploma) in English to find it.”
Frankly, this is an outrage. How dare the country that originated our language mess with the Queen’s English like this! And, yes, I’m keeping that apostrophe in “Queen’s”. So the thinking is that we’re not supposed to recognize that “King’s Heath”, for example, was once owned by the monarchy? Worst of all, we’re being told that people are just too stupid to know the proper use of grammar, so let’s just give up. In New York City’s flower district I once passed a store selling “flower’s”. And I am sometimes referred to as Colme’s. People need education, not capitulation. Thankfully, those with respect for the English language agree with me.
In her best-selling book “Eats, Shoots and Leaves,” Lynne Truss recorded her fury at the title of the Hugh Grant-Sandra Bullock comedy “Two Weeks Notice,” insisting it should be “Two Weeks’ Notice.”
“Those spineless types who talk about abolishing the apostrophe are missing the point, and the pun is very much intended,” she wrote.
If you agree with her you’re right. That’s as opposed to your right, which is a dangerous political place to be.Click here for reuse options!
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