Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Waterstone’s big big apostrophe sin

ApostropheThere are some grammatical errors that are understandable, but after noting a number of comments about Waterstones (or Waterstone’s) repeated attempts at rebranding, I’m left wondering what sort of accountability a bookseller has, as Waterstones (or Waterstone’s) seems to think that the correct use, or not, of an apostrophe in its name is not something to take seriously, or deal with consistently.

I have to confess that after reading numerous other blog entries, and the discordant opinions of many ‘experts’ in the area, I have emerged confused, rather than wiser, after reading them all together with the logic behind them.

In fact, rather than come down in print in this blog in favour of one version or the other, I’m abstaining. Not because I don’t know how to apply the sometimes troublesome little apostrophe, but because I am not a mind-reader, and do not know the intended meaning of the presentation of the word as the corporate front.

However, I will express one clear and distinct opinion…

To merely drop the apostrophe on the basis of its inability to be included in a web url is NOT sufficient reason.

That makes Waterstones (or Waterstone’s, or maybe even Waterstones’ in this case) offence no better than that seen in the case of the Greengrocer’s Apostrophe – or should that be Greengrocers’ Apostrophe?

What are Greengrocers’ Apostrophes?

The apostrophe is confusing enough for normal people who don’t write much and therefore don’t gain much experience in handling it.

Organisation such as Waterstones (or Waterstone’s) who are ‘in the trade’ should be helping to make things clearer,  not muddying the water by using non-grammatical criteria to define their use of the little helper.

I can’t even boycott them, as I would not be seen dead inside a shop that has so many waste-of-skin celebrities through its doors, signing books they have allegedly written.

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January 18, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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