I was reading recently about someone who got into trouble for correcting the punctuation on public signs, and it started me thinking.  Conventions of punctuation use has changed over the years as a simple comparison with Dickens over modern usage will indicate. Even more is this true if looking at Chaucer’s offerings, or Shakespeare, or e e cummings. Some things, however, must surely be sacrosanct. Or are they? For example, George Bernard Shaw would do away with the apostrophe altogether, and certainly, when reading his apostropheless texts, they are not difficult to read, however strange they may appear at first. Context clears up what otherwise may be confusion, and if language is not contextually bound, it may be argued that it is not actually language. Feel free to comment on this point, as I would appreciate other opinions on the matter. 

Certainly, when seeing what the linguistically laid-back can do, I appreciate Shaw’s (or Shaws) viewpoint more and more. Consider a market place sign I saw the other day. It read Bes’t Cabbage’s 75p per poun’d. The final full stop is mine. The apostrophes belong to another world.

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