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Waterstone's to ditch the apostrophe from its name

Waterstone’s says dropping the apostrophe is “more versatile and practical” in a digital world.

Image: Gwydion M Williams via Creative Commons

IN A MOVE bound to raise the hackles of strict grammarians everywhere, booksellers Waterstone’s has said it is to drop the apostrophe from its logo.

Waterstone’s – or Waterstones, as it now wants to be known - says that taking away the apostrophe makes more sense in a “digital world” of email addresses and URLS.

The move has led to a discussion on Twitter about whether the company is correct or dumbing down.

“Waterstones without an apostrophe is, in a digital world of URLS and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling,” said James Daunt, the managing director of the company.

The move may also be grammatically more correct than the existing spelling, the company said.

“It reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers,” said Daunt.

The Oxford English Dictionary notes that apostrophes cause confusion for many people and are often omitted from company names.

One employee at the Waterstones branch on Oxford Street in London tweeted this photograph of the now abandoned apostrophe spotted on the streets of London.

“Some of you have noticed that the apostrophe in Waterstones is gone and shown concern for the missing piece of punctuation. I have bad news,” tweeted the @WstonesOxfordST account this afternoon.

“I saw the apostrophe on my way to work this morning. It’s not looking too well”.

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