Speed Reading — Apostrophe - Level 6 — 500 wpm 

Now do this put-the-text-back-together activity.

This is the text (if you need help).

A defender of the use of the apostrophe has quit his decades-long battle for the correct use of the punctuation mark. John Richards, 96, was chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society, which was established in 2001 to campaign to encourage better writing and understanding of the purpose of the apostrophe. Mr Richards wrote on the society's website: "Fewer organisations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in the English language. We, and our many supporters worldwide, 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 all over the world...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 and get people to end the misuse of the apostrophe. He said he hoped half a dozen people would join him in his quest, but was heartened by the support he received worldwide. He received 500 letters from all over the world within a month of starting the website. Mr Richards' biggest beef was not people misusing the apostrophe, but people not using it at all. He called out big companies for this. In the UK, companies like Lloyds Bank and the bookstore Waterstones dispensed with the apostrophe in their names. Maybe Mr Richards was happy with the burger chain McDonald's.

Comprehension questions
  1. How long did the article say John Richards had been battling?
  2. How old is John Richards?
  3. When was the Apostrophe Protection Society established?
  4. Who did Mr Richards say was caring less about the apostrophe?
  5. Who did John Richards say had won?
  6. How often did Mr Richards say he saw mistakes with the apostrophe?
  7. How many people did Mr Richards hope would join him?
  8. How many letters did Mr Richards from around the world?
  9. Who did Mr Richards say wasn't using the apostrophe at all?
  10. Which global brand did the article say Mr Richards might be happy with?

Back to the apostrophe lesson.

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