The UK’s only national chain of bookshops, founded by Tim Waterstone, is to drop the apostrophe from its trading name and logo, sparking panic amongst apostrophe enthusiasts. Waterstone’s becomes Waterstones.
James Daunt, apponted managing director of the chain last year, says the decision is a “practical” one: “Waterstones without an apostrophe is, in a digital world of URLs and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling.”
He futher explained, “It also reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers.”
Critics lament what they see as a nail in the coffin of the apostrophe and point out that the oft-abused punctuation mark has not done capitalist giants McDonald’s and Sainsbury’s any harm.
“It’s just plain wrong. It’s grammatically incorrect,” said John Richards, the chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society. “You would really hope that a bookshop is the last place to be so slapdash with English.”
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