If Oxford has its comma, then Cambridge has its …

The Americans keep an eye on us:

Cambridge has a new punctuation rule.

Well, not Cambridge University, but rather Cambridge City Council. “This is a regrettable erosion of the quality of the English language, and such a departure in a city as highly educated as Cambridge is even more regrettable,” complained council member John Hipkin.

The new rule forbids the use of apostrophes in naming streets. “It was decided potential confusion over incorrectly punctuated street names meant we wouldnt use punctuation anymore,” said Nick Milne, whos in charge of street naming for the council.

The rule doesnt apply to existing street names — nor to the name “Queens’ College, Cambridge,” in which the apostrophes placement makes the word plural: two queens founded the college in the 1400s. (AC/Cambridge News)

There’ll never be agreement either on whether it should be Charles’ three way marriage or Charles’s. James’s view is that it should be without the final “s”.


5 responses to “If Oxford has its comma, then Cambridge has its …

  1. Many hands of moons ago, long before mediocrity became the norm I was taught that you never put an ‘s’ after an apostrophe if the word ended in ‘s’. Therefore I have to agree with you James.

  2. Those schools and those teachers have long gone. These days, so many can’t even spell but that’s what we curmudgeons would say, would we not?

  3. Yes, just the one ‘s’.

  4. No, two esses: James’s. In My School, it was the triple sibilant that was banned: no “Jesus’s”. Which, naturally, led to the class wiseacre asking “What about ‘Jesus’ sake’?” What indeed.

  5. The Russians always asked me for “The Rule”. Wish I could have pointed them to this.