Sunday, February 22, 2009

Theyre Birminghams apostrophes...or are they?

I missed this news when it broke at the end of January but thought it was worth sharing now.

The city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom has struck a blow for the punctuation-lazy by banning the possessive apostrophe from all of its street signs. Now the formerly named "King's Heath" shall be forever known as "Kings Heath" because, as one councilman pointed out, the monarchy no longer owns it. The hopes of apostrophe users throughout Birmingham rest on the unbowed shoulders of the you'll-only-find-something-like-this-in-Britain Apostrophe Protection Society.

Of course, you've got to applaud the "out of the box" thinking by those folks on the Birmingham City Council, the same whiz kids who brought you an official Birmingham City recycling pamphlet featuring the city skyline of Birmingham, Alabama. But I can understand their confusion. Without the apostrophe, how were they to know that it was Birmingham, Alabamas photo they were using.

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