5-speed listening (Apostrophe - Level 5)

Apostrophe Protection Society says goodbye






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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.

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Apostrophe - Level 4  |  Apostrophe - Level 6

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