A Truce in the War of the Apostrophe

Every so often, an issue so divisive grips our society that it pits neighbor vs. neighbor, church vs. church, citizen vs. citizen in an all-out culture war. This issue is, of course, the use of apostrophes in street signs. The dust up all started in a town in the U.K. when local officials decided that it would ban apostrophes from street signs to “avoid potential confusion … in times of emergency.” (Is the fire at “King’s Crescent” or “Kings’ Crescent”!? How many Kings possess this Crescent?!)

Like many controversial social issues decided by politicians, the decision was met with unmitigated outrage. Local residents even formed the Apostrophe Protection Society, to pressure the council to reverse its “appalling, disgusting and pointless” decision. Finally, their efforts have paid off, and officials have agreed to restore the Queen’s English to the town’s signage. For now …

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