How do you feel about apostrophes?
A mountain naming committee in Thurman, New York recently learned that there's been a silent war of sorts being waged against the apostrophe.
The specific name they wanted was being debated, but all of the top suggestions ended with an apostrophe s, as the peak was being named to honor the local 1700s settler James Cameron.
Apparently, that kind of punctuation use doesn't fly with The Domestic Names Committee of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.
According to the agency, naming public places with an apostrophe s at the end implies too much individual possession, rather than giving an air of belonging to all of the people.
In the 113-year history of the organization, a handful of possessive apostrophe attempts have made it through.
Their mostly steadfast adherence to their rule doesn't mean that people approve of it. In 2009 the group was criticized at a meeting for its, "isolationist stance" toward "the perpetually punished apostrophe."
The British have encountered similar troubles, but in 2001 the Apostrophe Protection Society was founded in England to fight for the apostrophe's rights.
You can have my apostrophes when you cut them from my cold, dead paper.
Many of the calls to defend traditional apostrophe usage are little more than unthinking superstition. Its right because its right, runs the argument, failing to engage with the fact that its arbitrary. I suspect a lot of peoples prejudices on this matter are probably inculcated by humiliation at an early age, and leave victims frightened of the terrible social consequences they thereafter imagine will follow from deviating from the standard - this then becomes a self-reinforcing loop as they leap upon other peoples apostrophe 'misuse' like it matters, which it doesnt.
I like punctuation, but really dislike air quotes.
There is no call for apostrophes in the plurals of family names, at least in my reading.
Now, for an entirely different point of view, the Apostrophe Protection Society.