Apostrophes: To Ban or Not to Ban?


Should We Or Shouldn’t/Should Not We?

After Birmingham City Council banned apostrophe street signs, opinions have erupted and debates over different spellings is ongoing. Their decision was done for the purposes of consistency and to avoid costs and confusion over whether place names should ever take an apostrophe. The question is, are Birmingham City Council correct in their decision?

Apostrophes have both pros and cons, or perhaps pro’s and con’s? Either way, there are two sides to the argument. Firstly, many believe apostrophes should be banned as they are:

  • pointless and a waste of a character when typing
  • they generally don’t interfere with the pronunciation of words, apart from your/you’re and they/they’re etc
  • people get them mixed up
  • children find it difficult to learn the differences between words

However, many people believe apostrophes should remain as they are:

  • beneficial to people as they show the difference between words, e.g. were on it’s own refers to present tense, whereas adding an apostrophe becomes we’re meaning “we are.”
  • they add to educating society
  • they make words make sense

The removal of apostrophes from street signs is seen as negative regression to some as it is an example of society becoming “dumber” as they are no longer bothering with basic punctuation. Children will fail to understand basic words and the correct spellings for them which will affect them in later life. Whereas others believe that apostrophes being banned is positive as huge amounts of money are spent yearly by major business on proof reading or spellcheck on phones etc for the outcome to be minimal.

I personally  think that apostrophes are needed as they educate people to become successful people later in life. If you can’t even write a sentence correctly, how far are you expected to get in life?



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