The North Yorkshire Council in England has been in the hot seat recently for its changes to street signs - not because of anything on them, but rather because of something left off.

One street in the town of Harrogate was rendered as St. Marys Walk. No apostrophe. Outrage ensued.

The problem, punctilious observers argued, was that the nearby church is and always will be St. Mary's - with an apostrophe, - thank you very much - and leaving that bit of punctuation out of the name of the road obscures that vital and historical connection. Plus it's just plain ignorant.

St. Marys Walk was just the beginning. It turns out the county plans to phase out apostrophes on all street signs, in part '' to prevent complications while searching on databases, '' an official told Times correspondent Jenny Grass.

The World Students Society thanks John McWhorter.


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