At 96, the man who created the Apostrophe Protection Society says it’s time to shut down his fight for the proper use of the mark.
He’s giving up. The founder of England’s Apostrophe Protection Society will close his organization. With it, he will presumably give up his grammatical war on the misuse of the punctuation mark.
“With regret, I have to announce that, after some 18 years, I have decided to close the Apostrophe Protection Society,” Richards said.
He posted the announcement on the society’s website. Besides his age, he cites the overwhelming laziness and lack of concern for the language as his reasons:
“We, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!”
I hate to hear that he made the decision. I think we need more people fighting against apostrophe misuse. I’ve written about this before and I’m sure it’ll come up again. After all, people misuse apostrophes all the time.
The biggest misuse, of which Richards himself found plenty of examples, is using the apostrophe to make words plural.
The article points out that it’s now common for British grocers to label their fruit with signs like “Apple’s & Orange’s.” It’s far from a British-only problem!
The plural of apple is apples. The plural of orange is oranges. No apostrophe need apply. (Yet people insist on pulling them in where they don’t belong.)
The website is expected to remain active. Hopefully, people will one day get the message…at least, we can hope they do.
Some of the rest of us will continue our stubborn fight to rid our language of improperly used apostrophes. It shouldn’t be this difficult to use such a simple little mark correctly!