N – Birmingham abandons apostrophes

Road signs and street names in Birmingham will no longer include apostrophes. The city council has decided that the areas such as “Kings Heath” and “Druids Heath” should be apostrophe-free, citing a need to avoid confusion and prevent emergency services from getting lost. In the Birmingham Mail, the councillor Len Gregory said, “I don’t see the point of them.” But the Apostrophe Protection Society said that the decision was “absolute defeatism” and sets a bad example. John Richards, founder of the society, said, “Teachers are trying to teach children correct grammar and punctuation. Now children will go around Birmingham and see utter chaos.”

(www.birminghammail.net/news/birmingham-news/2009/01/30/battle-to-save-birmingham-s-apostrophes-97319-22817585/, 30 Jan 2009, “Battle to save Birmingham’s apostrophes”.)

See also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4602491/Second-council-bans-apostrophes-in-street-signs.html