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Apostrophe Protection Society throws in the towel

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/03/19, 11:49 am

John Richards, 96, is closing down his society to protect the correct use of the apostrophe. The organization began sending notes of correction in 2001 to people who publicly misused the punctuation mark.

Why is he giving up? Richards told The Guardian that “ignorance and laziness” had won. “Fewer organizations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in the English language,” he wrote on his website, which has temporarily shut down due to an increase in traffic since the announcement.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read about the apostrophe debates that were going strong back in 2014.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Tue, 12/03/2019 11:15 am

    LOL!! As a retired public school teacher, we all saw the writing on the wall years ago...kind of like the distinction between "can" and "may." I'm sure that in academic writing, the proper use of apostrophes will continue indefinitely. (Or...should I have written "apostrophe's"?)

  • D&
    Posted: Tue, 12/03/2019 04:31 pm

    So sorry to hear that ignorance and laziness has won but many of us see every day that many people simply do not care about correct grammar. I often drive by a restaurant with the name of Mediterranean Grills. I am tempted to stop by to see if they have more than one grill in the restaurant. 

  • JD
    Posted: Tue, 12/03/2019 07:02 pm

    My current favorite on the whiteboard at a local restaurant is "Egg's Benedict. " Who is Egg? What is a Benedict? Why does Egg own one? 

    Posted: Tue, 12/03/2019 07:56 pm

    Good one. 

    Posted: Tue, 12/03/2019 07:54 pm

    The misuse of then and than drives me nuts. It's so simple. (It's even in published books.)

    I have to admit English grammar was not big in my high school. 


  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 12/04/2019 03:25 pm

    I only came here for the comment’s.  LOL.