June 25th, 2013 .

Have No Fear: The APS is on the Job

Pat Morden

By now regular readers will be familiar with my Grammar Nazi attitude toward the misuse of the apostrophe. Imagine my delight, then, to discover the Apostrophe Protection Society (http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/).

The founder, John Richards, spent his career as a journalist and editor in England. We are told that “it constantly amazed him how often reporters, especially the younger ones, seemed to have no idea of the correct use of this very useful little device.” When John retired, he formed the Society and immediately found hundreds of adherents.

But don’t think for a moment that the Society is merely a group of effete snobs who sit over tea cups, tut-tutting. No indeed. In March when the Mid Devon council decided to drop the apostrophe on local street signs to avoid confusion on GPS systems, Richards went into action.

“I merely told them how disappointed I was and I was sorry at their disregard of English grammar,” Richards told Carol Off, host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens. “I also pointed out it set a bad example for local children who were being taught about apostrophes in local schools. What would they say? ‘Why should I bother about apostrophes? The council doesn’t,'” he said.

Richards and fellow grammarians carried the day. Huzzah!

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