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View Full Version : Apostrophist corrects punctuation on street signs



bijou
08-18-2009, 02:15 PM
Frustrated by living in "St Johns Close", in Turnbridge Wells, Mr Gatward decided to buy a can of black paint and a craft brush before correcting the name to "St John's Close".
Mr Gatward, a former soldier, said: "I think one should stand up for things and language is worth standing up for. The trouble is that everything is dumbed down now.

"I've lived on St John's Close for 14 months now and have had to look at those signs every day. I decided enough was enough."
While some neighbours have praised his actions, others have been less appreciative, including another ex-soldier.
"He asked me what I was doing and told me I was wrong," Mr Gatward said. "He called me a vandal and a graffiti artist.
"He tried to tell me that the post office would not deliver to the street if you put an apostropheo n the address."
Mr Gatward, who served with the Gordon Highlands in the 1960s, said of the other man, who served in Afghanistan: "I've been to three universities. I don't know it all but I still know a lot more than a mere corporal." ...

link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6046862/Apostrophist-corrects-punctuation-on-street-signs.html)

I'm with Mr Gatward on this one, he reached his limit and took action. :D

linda22003
08-18-2009, 02:39 PM
I would have taken it one step further - I wouldn't buy a house on a misspelled street. :p

ralph wiggum
08-18-2009, 02:47 PM
I would have taken it one step further - I wouldn't buy a house on a misspelled street. :p

Why am I not surprised? :D

linda22003
08-18-2009, 02:50 PM
Why am I not surprised? :D

You shouldn't be. I also have an embargo on silly street names.

Crystal Wizard
08-18-2009, 03:02 PM
I would have taken it one step further - I wouldn't buy a house on a misspelled street. :p

I don't know. Tunbridge Wells is quite a nice little town. I used to stop at a pub there when driving from London to Eastbourne and there are some nice houses there.

linda22003
08-18-2009, 03:24 PM
I don't know. Tunbridge Wells is quite a nice little town. I used to stop at a pub there when driving from London to Eastbourne and there are some nice houses there.

I'm sure it has plenty of correctly spelled streets, too.

megimoo
08-18-2009, 03:34 PM
link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6046862/Apostrophist-corrects-punctuation-on-street-signs.html)

I'm with Mr Gatward on this one, he reached his limit and took action. :D

Are these fixations a common malady in the UK ? It seem more like the fixations of an Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).Or are these particularly necessary for Anglophones because English is a sloppy language, susceptible to misinterpretation without it.

"indulged desire to be posher than posh"

We also read very fast and silently, and the division of the text through graphic conventions allows us to absorb large chunks of text.

"I think one should stand up for things and language is worth standing up for."

The United Kingdom is swirling down the drains of International Irrelevance and this guy worries about punctuation !I wasn't aware of these people who place so much emphasis on absolutely correct punctuation until I stumbled upon "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation "!

The book tells of punctuation fanatics who go to great lengths to correct what are to them Intolerable and painful sins of poor punctuation in road signs,Sales advertisements on bill boards and now apparently,road and street signs .

Has this been identified by the various British mental health people as a treatable fixation yet ? For GODS sakes the English language,if that's what it should be called,changes every few hundreds years or so .

Before Dr Johnson it was a 'Hodge Podge' of French,German and other Foreign words that few could understand .

Johnson codified the language of his time and it continues to evolve with more French and European phraseology.

The different forms of punctuation used in the middle ages were to serve as graphic clues as to how the text was to be read.

Perhaps we should return to Latin . Latin does not require punctuation, as the grammatical constructions are so precise that the significance cannot be misunderstood.

Gingersnap
08-18-2009, 04:59 PM
There are really two issues here: a mandated lack of punctuation required by government agencies and sheer sloppy usage. It's not confined to the U.K.

The USPS doesn't use apostrophes either when it comes to street names and USGS has standardized spellings that omit apostrophes regardless of how they are used. This doesn't mean that your local town or HOA can't have a street called Hell's Bell or O'Grady Cow Lane. It just drops those punctuation marks in formal names. Partly this was done to eliminate nasty local disputes about naming conventions but it was also done just in time to take advantage of early search engines that got screwed up dealing with punctuation.

The sloppy usage part is a whole different ball game. Relatively few teachers understand correct usage (yes, there really is a "correct" usage) and so they can't teach it to their students effectively. This is why we are losing the distinction between 'less' and 'fewer' and 'may' and 'might'. This isn't helpful at all. English is language capable of really extreme precision in description. This is what makes English such an excellent technical language. If we lose our ability to detect and use these distinctions, we might as well be speaking something wildly imprecise like French. :p

megimoo
08-18-2009, 06:26 PM
There are really two issues here: a mandated lack of punctuation required by government agencies and sheer sloppy usage. It's not confined to the U.K.

The USPS doesn't use apostrophes either when it comes to street names and USGS has standardized spellings that omit apostrophes regardless of how they are used. This doesn't mean that your local town or HOA can't have a street called Hell's Bell or O'Grady Cow Lane. It just drops those punctuation marks in formal names. Partly this was done to eliminate nasty local disputes about naming conventions but it was also done just in time to take advantage of early search engines that got screwed up dealing with punctuation.

The sloppy usage part is a whole different ball game. Relatively few teachers understand correct usage (yes, there really is a "correct" usage) and so they can't teach it to their students effectively. This is why we are losing the distinction between 'less' and 'fewer' and 'may' and 'might'. This isn't helpful at all. English is language capable of really extreme precision in description. This is what makes English such an excellent technical language. If we lose our ability to detect and use these distinctions, we might as well be speaking something wildly imprecise like French. :p
There are online Tomes with examples of precise sentence structure, spelling and punctuation containing hundreds of examples of the correct usage for just about every possible sentence and paragraph.

The problems are there is always some 'English Don' who will come up with an argument on whether this or that is precisely correct .As an example European English spelling of certain words tend to confuse non American English writers in their published works.

As for technical usage American English requires a plethora of words to accurately describe scientific facts and data.

The real reason for it's wide technical use is that it's taught in just about every country that uses any Science or engineering material at the college level.

Americans have long dominated Electrical,Biological,Genetic and Nuclear Engineering and Advanced Military Applications for the better part of this century .

Most of the Text Books used in the schools are written in American English and about ninety percent of the technical magazines are in English.

Further the spread of personal computers throughout the world has just about mandated English as the language of the Educated, world wide.

I am aware that the windows operating system is available with a number of supported languages for the use of non English speakers but that is a mostly
a ploy for sales in Foreign countries.