Listen to Article
If you are an English teacher or an English major, look away now, for this story will make your hair stand - And the worst part? - it is happening in England.
Birmingham, England's second-largest city has officially banned the use of apostrophes on street signs, purporting that they are confusing and old-fashioned. While the town council has been quietly taking away apostrophes since the 1950's, they finally officially banned them this week.
According to Councilor Martin Mullaney, the debate that finally broke the camel's or should we say the apostrophe's back was when they started to argue whether King's Cross should be changed to Kings Cross. He said the Council had spent countless hours debating on apostrophes, instead of discussing more important issues.
So now St. Paul's Square is St. Pauls Square and Acock's Green is Acocks Green. As for King's Cross? - well the little apostrophe there is history too!
This action has ignited protests from die-hard grammarians and the apostrophe protection society (yes there is actually a society!), who want the signs to remain in the Queen's English and not the Queens English.
However, the Council remains firm. As Mullaney puts it, since the King no longer owns the Heath, and the Acock family does not own the Green, the possessive mark is not in correct usage.
While this is a radical move in Queen's Country it is not by any means a pioneering one. Except for five exceptions, Americans got rid of the apostrophe from their street signs in 1890, with Australia following suit in 2001 - and guess what? - it has made no difference to the residents of these countries.
Sources: Timesonline, Msnbc.com