UK

Apostrophe Street Sign Ban To Be Dropped By Devon Council

19/03/2013 12:43 GMT | Updated 19/03/2013 12:44 GMT

The humble apostrophe can rest easy again after a Devon council that had banned its use in street signs performed a grammatical U-turn.

Mid Devon District Council had originally announced to drop the punctuation because of the "potential confusion" they cause.

Councillor Peter Hare-Scott said he had come to disagree with the decision, reports the Telegraph.

He said: "The convention not to use apostrophes when naming new streets has been in place since long before this administration took over.

"Personally I'm not happy about using English that's incorrect and don't find this acceptable.

"We are reviewing the situation and I shall be recommending to cabinet on March 28 that they amend the policy so that street names may indeed in future have apostrophes."

The news the apostrophe was going to be dropped was met by widespread dismay from MPs, journalists and English language purists.

Former culture secretary and journalist Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, took to Twitter to condemn the plans. He wrote: "Tory Mid Devon Council bans the apostrophe to 'avoid confusion'... Whole point of proper grammar is to avoid confusion!"

A spokesman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Whilst this is ultimately a matter for the local council, ministers' view is that England's apostrophes should be cherished."