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Debate: Apostrophes

Updated Friday, 1st September 2006

Forum guest Marilyn locked horns with her local newspaper over punctuation

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My local paper had the following headline: New Threat for Chemist's. I questioned the use of an errant apostrophe and received this reply from the Deputy Editor:

I see nothing wrong with the possessive apostrophe in my headline. A chemist is a person, not a shop, and traditionally, there is only one leading chemist with assistants in each pharmacy. A chemist's shop, or simply chemist's, therefore seems perfectly acceptable to me.

I was horrified by such a response from a journalist and would be grateful for your comments.

 

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