Tag Archives: UK

➤ Spare a thought for the Sad Apostrophe who’s putting on a brave face at Twitter

SadApostrophe, Twitter, Waterstones,Franks,grammar


Three logos in as many years: >2010 classic font and grammatically correct, 2010–12 contemporary font and illiterate, 2012< classic font, illiterate but digitally expedient. And this shop sells books.

❏ A press release dated Jan 11 declares: “Waterstones, the UK’s largest high street bookseller, has today revealed a new logo for the company. It reinstates the much-loved Baskerville serif font with a capital W and no longer features an apostrophe. James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones said: “Waterstones without an apostrophe is, in a digital world of URLs and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling.”

Waterstones, Sainsbury's, McDonald's, logos

Gramatically: one wrong, two right

➢ Waterstones is sparking outrage among some of its customers — Harry Wallop at The Daily Telegraph
John Richards, the chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society said: “It’s just plain wrong. It’s grammatically incorrect. If Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s can get it right, then why can’t Waterstones? You would really hope that a bookshop is the last place to be so slapdash with English.”

The change is also a slight to the founder Tim Waterstone, who set up the company more than 30 years ago, though long ago stopped having any involvement. Mr Daunt further explained the change in logo: “It also reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers.” Many on Twitter pointed out that this explanation made no sense, because if the new logo really was meant to reflect the contribution of many, it should include an apostrophe after the S.

SadApostrophe, Twitter, Waterstones,Foyles,grammar
➢ No apostrophe? No catastrophe — David Marsh at The Guardian
As many shopping centres boast a Tesco, a Morrisons, a Sainsbury’s, a Marks & Spencer, a Waterstones and a McDonald’s, it is hardly surprising that many young people, and greengrocers of all ages, find apostrophes so difficult. But however much the Apostrophe Protection Society huffs and puffs about it, these businesses are not going to change their orthography so we might as well get used to it and fight to save apostrophes where they are really needed: to aid communication and avoid ambiguity. The example in the Guardian style guide is:

❏ my sister’s friend’s books (refers to one sister and her friend).
❏ my sister’s friends’ books (one sister with lots of friends).
❏ my sisters’ friend’s books (more than one sister, and their friend).
❏ my sisters’ friends’ books (more than one sister, and their friends).

SadApostrophe, Twitter, Waterstones,grammar So if anyone tells you we don’t need apostrophes, they are wrong. Another tip: always carry a large felt-tip pen and bottle of Tipp-Ex with you to add apostrophes to signs where appropriate and remove them from plurals. It will make you feel much better.

➢ Rules concerning the use of apostrophes in written English “are very simple” — The Apostrophe Protection Society

➢ Express your consolations to SadApostrophe on Twitter

SadApostrophe, Twitter, Waterstones,ToysRUs,grammar
SadApostrophe, Twitter, Waterstones,ToysRUs,grammar
➢ How Oxfam is challenging the bookselling giants and which unwanted authors we are dumping after Christmas — “Out of the 700 Oxfam shops in Britain, 140 of them are bookshops. Oxfam sells 11 million books a year and are its second highest-selling items after clothing. The charity store has become the biggest second-hand bookseller in Europe, and the third largest general book retailer in Britain” … / continued online