The Reading / Listening - Apostrophe - Level 5

A man who promoted the use of the apostrophe has quit his decades-long battle. John Richards, 96, was chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society. This started in 2001 to encourage better writing and understanding of the apostrophe. Mr Richards wrote: "Fewer organisations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in English. We...have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won." He added: "Over the years we have heard from thousands of supporters...but the barbarians have won."



Mr Richards started the society after seeing the "same mistakes over and over again". He wanted to highlight people's mistakes. He hoped half a dozen people would join him, but he received support and 500 letters from all over the world within a month. Mr Richards' biggest beef was people not using the apostrophe at all. He criticised big companies for this. In the UK, companies like Lloyds Bank stopped using the apostrophe in their names. Maybe Mr Richards was happy with the burger chain McDonald's but not with Starbucks.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Apostrophe - Level 4 or  Apostrophe - Level 6

Sources
  • https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/02/society-protect-apostrophes-shuts-barbarians-11252244/
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/apostrophe-protection-society-john-richards-grammar-lazy-a9229106.html
  • https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/apostrophe-warrior-gives-up-fight/news-story/04b0858fcec41e6ea4477046d0fa8f09


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. quit his decades-
  2. encourage
  3. the correct use
  4. ignorance and
  5. in modern
  6. Over the
  7. we have heard from thousands
  8. the barbarians
  1. of supporters
  2. laziness
  3. have won
  4. long battle
  5. years
  6. of the apostrophe
  7. better writing
  8. times

Paragraph 2

  1. seeing the same mistakes over
  2. highlight people's
  3. half a
  4. 500 letters
  5. within a
  6. Mr Richards' biggest
  7. He criticised big companies
  8. stopped using
  1. from all over the world
  2. dozen people
  3. the apostrophe
  4. and over again
  5. beef
  6. for this
  7. mistakes
  8. month

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A man (1) ___________________ use of the apostrophe has quit his decades-long battle. John Richards, 96, was chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society. This started in 2001 (2) ___________________ writing and understanding of the apostrophe. Mr Richards wrote: "Fewer organisations (3) ___________________ now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in English. We...have done our best (4) ___________________ and laziness present in modern times have won." He added: "(5) ___________________ we have heard from thousands of supporters...but the (6) ___________________."

Mr Richards started the society after seeing the "same (7) ___________________ over again". He wanted to highlight people's mistakes. He hoped (8) ___________________ people would join him, but he received support and 500 letters from all over the world (9) ___________________. Mr Richards' (10) ___________________ people not using the apostrophe at all. (11) ___________________ companies for this. In the UK, companies like Lloyds Bank stopped using the apostrophe in their names. Maybe Mr Richards was happy with (12) ___________________ McDonald's but not with Starbucks.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Amanwhopromotedtheuseoftheapostrophehasquithisdecades-lo
ngbattle.JohnRichards,96,waschairmanoftheApostropheProtection
Society.Thisstartedin2001toencouragebetterwritingandunderstand
ingoftheapostrophe.MrRichardswrote:"Fewerorganisationsandindiv
idualsarenowcaringaboutthecorrectuseoftheapostropheinEnglish.
We...havedoneourbestbuttheignoranceandlazinesspresentinmoder
ntimeshavewon."Headded:"Overtheyearswehaveheardfromthousa
ndsofsupporters...butthebarbarianshavewon."MrRichardsstartedth
esocietyafterseeingthe"samemistakesoverandoveragain".Hewante
dtohighlightpeople'smistakes.Hehopedhalfadozenpeoplewouldjoin
him,buthereceivedsupportand500lettersfromallovertheworldwithin
amonth.MrRichards'biggestbeefwaspeoplenotusingtheapostrophea
tall.Hecriticisedbigcompaniesforthis.IntheUK,companieslikeLloyds
Bankstoppedusingtheapostropheintheirnames.MaybeMrRichardsw
ashappywiththeburgerchainMcDonald'sbutnotwithStarbucks.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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