The story of the stray apostrophes

I can see this one happening in the US, too.

The Daily Mail reports on a well-meaning resident of a street called St. John’s Close, off of St. John’s Road, near St. John’s Church. The residents insist upon naming it St. Johns Close–without the apostrophe.

Stefan Gatward objected quite vocally to the motion of Birmingham’s council to eschew the apostrophes for “simplicity.” And then Stefan got some black paint, and painted the apostrophes onto the signs missing them, in error according to him.

In return for his grammatical corrections, Stefan gets branded a “vandal” and a “graffiti artist.” Stefan was also told the Post Office would not deliver to the street if you put in an apostrophe, a claim I personally have difficulty believing and which sounds outrageous on its face. But then again, this is the UK we’re talking about.

My take: consistency wins over simplicity any day. If simplicity is really that desirable, why not get rid of the “s” and call it simply St. John Close while you’re at it? That would make everyone happy, I’d think.