UK & World News
Councils Criticised For Dropping Apostrophes
Campaigners believe councils are setting the wrong example to schoolchildren by not adding punctuation to new street signs.
Cambridge City Council is one of the latest local authorities to decide not to put apostrophes on new signs.
In a statement the council said it was following national policy in the National Land and Property Gazetteer guidelines.
A spokesman added: "It was decided that in order to avoid potential confusion over incorrectly punctuated street names that the use of the apostrophe would no longer be used on new street name plates in Cambridge."
However Steve Jenner from the Plain English Campaign told Sky News: "A lot of the councils that decided to drop the apostrophe on road signs are also responsible for delivering education in these areas, so in schools we have teachers explaining to students how to use apostrophes and then we're saying 'oh well in certain contexts it's perfectly OK to ignore them'."
Other councils have already adopted the same policy. In 2009 Birmingham City council banned the apostrophe on new signs.
Councils in East Staffordshire, East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire also won't be using them either.
But when Mid Devon Council tried to do it there were so many complaints they changed their minds.
There are claims that taking away punctuation makes it easier for emergency services to find new addresses, however when we asked Cambridgeshire fire service and the East of England Ambulance service they both said it wouldn't make any difference.
Already groups of punctuation perfectionists have started adding their own apostrophes to signs around Cambridge, including Scholars Way and Kings Parade.
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