Friday, July 29, 2005

Apostrophe catastrophe

The Apostrophic Church has pronounced its first fatwa.

I have found, via a posting on Castrovalva, an article on the BBC website which reports the views of Kate Burridge. She is a linguist who questions the need to use possessive apostrophes at all. Apparently she has written a book called Weeds in the Garden of Words. No doubt we shall have to burn it (and quite possibly the author too).

Arguments like this, along with calls for "spelling reform" or the promotion of Esperanto, miss the point. What we should be asking is why, when the rules for using apostrophes are simple enough, so many people are mystified by them and even a little scared.

Let us now seek the answer in prayer, brothers and sisters.

1 comment:

Simon Titley said...

I blame the greengrocers (and, for that matter, the greengrocer's).