If Jeremy Clarkson says it, it must be true…

Jeremy Clarkson often comes across as arrogant and opinionated, so although I usually disagree with him and his attempts to turn cars into spacecraft and otherwise waste my TV license fee, I will have to admit that I agree with him about one thing…

“When I see a sign advertising CD’s and DVD’s, I become so angry that my teeth start to fall out”

– Jeremy Clarkson as quoted in Monday’s Metro

However, I’m not sure whether overuse of the apostrophe is actually worse than eliminating them altogether, which is what the Mid Devon District Council did earlier this month when it officially banned them from street names. Also, the current BBC drama Prisoners’ Wives is correctly listed as such on the iPlayer, but when you watch the opening credits, the apostrophe disappears! Tsk tsk.

As a Project Manager, I have often found that translators whose native language is not English are excellent grammarians and do a fabulous job of spotting errant apostrophes (and other mistakes) in English texts. Perhaps we can hire translators to teach English in our schools, to work for the BBC, and to work for our councils!

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