Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An apostrophe! An apostrophe! My kingdom for an apostrophe!

The King's English shall henceforth be known as "The Kings English," at least in Birmingham, England.

Some bureaucrats evidently decided that including apostrophes on directional signs was an unnecessary expenditure of time and paint. The official explanation was that the apostrophes were "confusing and old-fashioned." The powers that be have been quietly doing away with the cute punctuation marks ever since the 1950s. Apostrocide!

Here in the U.S., it's more common to see the apostrophe misused and overused. At the supermarket, for example, you may see a hand-painted sign advertising "Watermelon's $3.99." On this side of the Pond, we love apostrophes so much, we scatter them everywhere, like sprinkles on a frosted donut. But the Brits? The Birmingham variety will have none of it.

What unfortunate punctuation mark will be murdered next, the comma?

See the whole story here.

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