Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 16:18 UK
Hartlepool road sign apostrophe irritation
The offending temporary road sign in Hartlepool
The offending temporary road sign in Hartlepool

A rogue apostrophe on a town centre sign has caused "bewilderment and irritation".

The temporary road sign in Hartlepool, stating "Parking Bay's Suspended", was erected whilst gas works were carried out.

When it was pointed out to the chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society he said: "The apostrophe obviously still needs protection."

Hartlepool Council denied any blame for the sign.


Apostrophes are misused time and time again, but the grammatical mistake left John Richards of the Apostrophe Protection Society puzzled by what it was trying to achieve.

Apostrophes should be used to denote possession (The cat's tail - says that the tail belongs to the cat) or omission (you're)
If the possessor already ends with an s, the apostrophe comes after it (cars' wheels, or boys' coats)
If the plural of a word doesn't end in s, these words use 's to show possession (men's clothing)

The society's founder and chairman said: "My reaction is mainly bewilderment mixed with irritation.

"What on earth does the apostrophe mean? On my web page I make it clear that plurals never need an apostrophe.

"The apostrophe obviously still needs protection."

It was thought to have been erected by a local firm on behalf of one of the utilities.

Searching for a regional identity
24 Jun 10 |  People & Places
Hartlepool 'Eyesore' demolished
20 Sep 10 |  People & Places
Meet Hartlepool's Olympic fencer
17 Aug 10 |  People & Places
Hartlepool's new 52m FE College
14 Sep 10 |  People & Places



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific