Apostrophes. Are they even needed?

apostrophe_800Whoever would have thought apostrophes could be that controversial. So controversial that some cities have banned them, only to lift the ban after citizen protest.

Birmingham City Council said the move had been taken for the purposes of consistency and to avoid costs and confusion over whether place names should ever take an apostrophe; yet also to end time consuming queries. Honestly, apostrophes are redundant, and the difference they actually make are only small. Tremendous amounts of money are spent every year by businesses on proof readers, part of whose job is to put apostrophes in the ‘correct’ place – to no semantic effect whatsoever. What’s the point? If it can’t be done correctly, then why be done at all?

On the other hand some believe that not using apostrophes is a sign of regression, like the words are being dumbed down. All over the UK, teachers are trying to teach children correct grammar and punctuation, however with the ban on apostrophes the children will not understand from right and wrong if society becomes different to academia. The abolishment could prove to be the first step towards linguistic anarchy and who would want that? So I guess you could say, apostrophes are pretty important (only in some cases really).

To be completely honest, I don’t think apostrophes are needed whatsoever, unless it’s for contractions like were and we’re, hell and he’ll, but only due to the confusion it can create. Other than that, all other words are pronounced and read the same, so is there really any need for them in the English language today?


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