Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 141.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 09:22:40 +0100
From: "John E. Benneth" <email@example.com>
Subject: The War of the Apostrophe
Francois Lachance's letter in Vol. 15 (15.463) of The Humanist calls
attention to a CBC broadcast concerning efforts by the American Apostrophe
Association to bring Albertsons, a U.S. supermarket, to insert the required
apostrophe in its name as it appears on all of its 2,400 U.S.
storefronts. I am one of the two officers of the AAA (not to be confused
with the other AAA) and our campaign produced a lively exchange of letters.
However, not only did we lose the battle, we lost the war. Albertsons has
now filed SEC papers to eliminate the apostrophe from its corporate filing
where this punctuation originally appeared and where, curiously, it
continues to appear on the company's letterheads and telephone directory
listings. So we are left feeling like Hamlets of the apostrophe--having
dithered much but accomplished little.
It occurs to us that you might enjoy having the file of correspondence
generated by our undertaking. There are about a half dozen letters, and if
Wolpole wrote in this vein--as Mr. Lachance suggests--the man did indeed
have a sense of humor. However, inasmuch as we do not maintain a website,
would you be willing to post our file in The Humanist archives so that we
might be aable to direct others to it as need be? (And do let us know
where to find the posting.) The file, incidentally, includes an
interesting response from the company, defending its signage.
John Benneth, President
American Apostrophe Association
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