Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 11:29 UK

Use of apostrophe sparks debate

Pupils studied the use of the apostrophe

Schoolchildren who got the local council to change a street sign claiming an apostrophe was wrong, may have wasted their time, an expert says.

The Apostrophe Protection Society said the use of an apostrophe may not be wrong in the name Peddar's Lane in Bungay, Suffolk.

Pupils at Ditchingham Primary School near Bungay had argued the punctuation mark was not necessary.

Waveney District council agreed to replace the sign at a cost of 40.

The street is named after Peddars Way, a walking trail along the East Coast.

Peddars Way

The pupils argued that because this did not have an apostrophe then Peddar's Lane should not have one either.

But according to John Richards, founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society, the original sign might not be wrong.

He claimed the name may indicate the trail was the route or lane used by a peddar or pedlar.

Mr Richards said: "Actually I would have thought it would be named after peddars rather than one peddar.

"Therefore the apostrophe should probably be after the s - Peddars' Way - the way of peddars.

"But I suppose it's possible that the way could have been named after one peddar, therefore the apostrophe before the s would be correct too."

On your marks
21 Jun 05 |  Magazine
In praise of apostrophes
05 Oct 01 |  Science/Nature

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