I was listening to BBC Radio yesterday, and they had a story about 62-year-old Stefan Gatward, a Kent resident who finally lost his temper over the incorrectly-punctuated sign on the end of his street ("St Johns Close") and painted in an apostrophe.
Anyway, the BBC wanted to know what their listeners thought: was it too nit-picky, or did Mr. Gatward have a valid complaint*? I'm no grammar expert, but I am a big fan of the apostrophe, so I was very happy to hear that nearly everyone they polled supported Mr. Gatward's position--particularly because my doom-and-gloom mother frequently tells me that we're all moving towards a new, punctuation-free future, and I better get over it or I'm going to give myself a headache.
So there, Mom.
*The expert opinion featured in the BBC story also pointed out that until we have an inflexion-based way of communicating the difference between statements like "the pills' effects are dangerous" and "the pill's effects are dangerous", we might want to be careful about dumping time-honored stylistic flourishes.)
Labels: Literary style