Council plans to ban apostrophes from street signs

Councillors in Devon are considering banning apostrophes from street signs
Councillors in Devon are considering banning apostrophes from street signs Photo: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Councillors in Devon are considering banning apostrophes from street signs because of the "potential confusion" that they may cause.

Mid Devon District Council said that new streets under its remit had not contained apostrophes for many years, but the policy could now be made official.

The proposed policy has been widely condemned. Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, criticised the plans via his Twitter account.

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Tory Mid Devon Council bans the apostrophe to "avoid confusion" https://t.co/XbY3ph3TQ4 Whole point of proper grammar is to avoid confusion!

Council communications manager Andrew Lacey said: "Our proposed policy on street naming and numbering covers a whole host of practical issues, many of which are aimed at reducing potential confusion over street names.

"Although there is no national guidance that stops apostrophes being used, for many years the convention we've followed here is for new street names not to be given apostrophes.

"In fact, there are currently only three official street names in Mid Devon which include them: Beck's Square and Blundell's Avenue, both in Tiverton, and St George's Well in Cullompton - all named many, many years ago.

"No final decision has yet been made and the proposed policy will be discussed at cabinet."

The decision on whether to make the policy change will be decided at a Mid Devon District Council Cabinet meeting.

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