Council to debate future use of apostrophes in Mid Devon street signs (From This is The West Country)
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Council to debate future use of apostrophes in Mid Devon street signs
STREET signs in Mid Devon could be stripped of apostrophes if district councilors agree to do-away with the punctuation mark.
A debate over whether to remove the grammatical symbol altogether will be held at the council’s upcoming cabinet meeting on March 28.
The proposed policy has been widely criticised by champions of correct grammar, including the council's own leader Peter Hare-Scott, who said he will be recommending its refusal.
Former culture secretary and Labour MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw condemned the plans on Twitter when he wrote “Tory Mid Devon Council bans the apostrophe to ‘avoid confusion’.
Whole point of apostrophes is avoid confusion!”
Steve Jenner from the Plain English Campaign added: "This is a ridiculous proposal. How can anyone claim they want to reduce the potential for confusion by selectively ignoring parts of our language they may feel are inconvenient?
"It may not be the council's intention but this is dumbing down in action. We call upon Mid Devon District Council to reject this proposal at the earliest opportunity.' Only three official street names in Mid Devon currently contain apostrophes, including Beck's Square and Blundell's Avenue in Tiverton, and St George's Well in Cullompton.
Cllr Hare-Scott said “The convention not to use apostrophes when naming new streets has been in place since long before this administration took over.
"Personally I’m not happy about using English that’s incorrect and don’t find this acceptable.
"We are reviewing the situation and I shall be recommending to cabinet on 28 March that they amend the policy so that street names may indeed in future have apostrophes”.