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Merry Olde Apostrophes...

Grammatical Fun in England (thanks for the listing, A Word A Day)

We start with last March and The Guardian:

Outrage at local authority plans to abolish apostrophe
Steven Morris
The Guardian, Friday 15 March 2013 15.40 EDT

The sometimes vexing question of where and when to add an apostrophe appears to have been solved in one corner of Devon: the local authority is planning to do away with them altogether.

Later this month members of Mid Devon district council's cabinet will discuss formally banning the pesky little punctuation marks from its (no apostrophe needed) street signs, apparently to avoid "confusion".

The news of the Tory-controlled council's (apostrophe required) decision provoked howls of condemnation on Friday from champions of plain English, fans of grammar, and politicians. Even the government felt the need to join the campaign to save the apostrophe.

No idea when the whole thing began (apparently some places have quietly done this for years), by this year it certainly seems to have spread as far as Cambridge, as witness this poll issued by the Shropshire Star, on January 20, 2014.

Poll: As one council bans them, have apostrophes had their day?

Apostrophes are now banned from new street names in Cambridge – amid fears they would be too confusing.

The decision to outlaw all punctuation from new road names has been branded “deplorable” and condemned as “pandering to the lowest denominator”, especially in a city renowned for learning.

And, as follows night the day.

The pedants' revolt: Grammar guerrillas make their mark in battle against Cambridge council's war on street sign apostrophes

* Local authority has removed punctuation marks on street signs in the town
* Signs missing punctuation have seen apostrophes inserted with black pen
* Good Grammar Company said the move corrected language 'vandalism'

By Mark Davies
PUBLISHED: 11:53 EST, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 EST, 23 January 2014

Some people may think that grammar doesn't matter anymore, but there is clearly a quiet army out there of those who disagree.

In the wake of a council's decision to remove apostrophes from street signs, an anonymous guerrilla grammarian is going around using a marker pen to correct the punctuation.

Signs with missing punctuation, such as that at Scholars Walk, have seen the correct apostrophe inserted overnight.

On the same sign in the town's East Chesterton area, an apostrophe has also been added to Pepys Court.

An anonymous guerrilla grammarian? At least half a dozen is my guess. :) Reminds me of the time they changed the name of San Diego State University to California State University at San Diego, and saved money on the burnt-wood sign south of campus by just turning one or more (memory is hazy) of the boards about and writing on the back. Since all that was required to set things back to the original name was a wrench, and the strength to remove a few boards and reset them, the change rarely lasted more than a week, and eventually Officialdom gave up altogether.