Missing Apostrophes Don’t Worry Cambridge Examiners

The ICAL TEFL Blog

Two street signs: one missing an apostrophe.Like other cities in the UK, Cambridge City Council are not going to bother with apostrophes in street names anymore.

In the future, then, you might well see “Brookes Drive” and “Paxmans Close” instead of the grammatically correct, “Brooke’s Drive” and “Paxman’s Close”.

“Removing apostrophes from street names in Cambridge is unlikely to have an effect on English learning standards worldwide,” said Roger Johnson, an executive of Cambridge Assessment, who provide English language testing across the world.

One Cambridge student (who wished to remain anonymous) said, “This is just another example of dumbing down. People struggle with apostrophes so removing them from street signs is giving those people even more of an excuse to produce sloppy, mistake ridden English.”

Editor’s Comments

I think this is simply a matter of dumbing down. There can be no other logical reason. And now if missing apostrophes are accepted by one of the leading examination bodies in the world, what excuse do they have for penalizing them in their own exams?

Useful Links

Apostrophe free street names will not drive down standards – a statement on this from Cambridge Assessment

Apostrophe‏‎s in English – all about apostrophes in English and how to use them properly!

Image © Trevor Coultart

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