'Proper punctuation' to return after apostrophe ban

'proper punctuation' to return after apostrophe ban

A rogue resident added an apostrophe with a marker pen

"Proper punctuation" will return to North Yorkshire council leaders have confirmed, after previously announcing a cull on apostrophes on street signs.

North Yorkshire Council attracted condemnation and media interest from around the world after it said it planned to ditch punctuation marks to avoid problems with computer systems.

It came after a street sign for St Mary's Walk, in Harrogate, was replaced without an apostrophe, prompting one resident to say it "riles my blood".

However, Keane Duncan, the council's executive member for highways, said "the apostrophe will live on".

'Such a pickle'

Speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday, Mr Duncan said the issue had attracted press coverage from as far away as New York and Australia as well as "condemnation from the Apostrophe Protection Society".

He told councillors: "I'm pleased to confirm today that this council is not abandoning standards, the apostrophe will live on in North Yorkshire.

"The county will continue to be a haven of proper punctuation, on street signs at least.

"All new signs will be fully punctuated, not only with apostrophes but with hyphens and ampersands too."

He went on to say there would be no "unnecessary abbreviations of names" and said the "controversial" St Mary's Walk sign would be replaced "with its apostrophe reinstated".

In a statement earlier this month North Yorkshire Council said it, along with other councils, had opted to "eliminate" the apostrophe.

It said all punctuation would be considered but "avoided where possible" to meet standards for geographical referencing around street names and addresses stored in databases.

On Thursday, Mr Duncan, however, told BBC Radio York there had been "no U-turn",

He said: "I don't know how things have got into such a pickle - but apostrophes were never actually scrapped and that signs should have had punctuation."

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