Punishing Princes Street

Edinburgh’s Princes Street is a true shopper’s delight. Its countless shops and stores make the hearts of shopaholics beat faster and credit cards moan even louder. Yet, it is not all sunshine and roses down Princes Street. Grammar – or to be more accurate – punctuation sticklers are unhappy about a simple “squiggle”: the missing apostrophe in Princes Street.

Apostrophe Vigilante

The Apostrophe Vigilante is on the beat to pinpoint missing or incorrect apostrophes and encourages the general public to report any evidence of crimes committed against proper punctuation. According to this article in the Independent, measures have been taken to demand correct punctuation by re-establishing the street’s old name: Princes’ Street.

Princess Street

Named after King George III’s two eldest sons, Prince George and Prince Frederick, Princes Street lost its apostrophe sometime in the 1830s much to the displeasure of those observing correct punctuation. This new punctuation watchdog is a fine example of how social media is increasingly used to advocate accurate punctuation and correct grammar. So in case you witness any crimes committed against punctuation while strolling down your favourite shopping street, you have the right to either send in a snap-shot to the Apostrophe Vigilante or to remain silent and keep on enjoying the latest trends and gadgets.

Note: Any crimes committed against punctuation in this post are done so unknowingly and the author is more than grateful to learn and eradicate mistakes.

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About Carmen Ebner

Carmen Ebner is a PhD candidate at Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and currently investigates attitudes towards British English Usage. Carmen is part of the project Bridging the Unbridgeable: linguists, prescriptivists and the general public, which is supervised by Prof Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade.
This entry was posted in usage features and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Punishing Princes Street

  1. Carmen Ebner says:

    Reblogged this on Proper English Usage and commented:

    New punctuation cops on the beat. For more information on the Apostrophe Vigilante and Princes Street read on…

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