Apostrophes can cause all sorts of problems. On one hand, they are essential for clear communication, and when they are wrongly used, they can be funny to those who know enough about them. But they also take up extra ink on roadsigns, and so they are being phased out in some areas. Because really, the world will not stop spinning if they use Lands End with or without the apostrophe. But to some, this is the thin edge of the wedge, the start of the road to ruin of the English language, so there was outrage when the council of Cambridge decided to omit them from their street signs. Well, outrage from the Apostrophe Protection Society which I had never heard of before. Here’s their website with some misuses of the punctuation mark.
Now the outrage has become something of a guerilla movement in the area – after all, this is home to one of the country’s oldest universities.
Such things should matter here.
People have been painting in apostrophes on the street signs. Is this a crime or is the omission the real crime? Or does this really matter?