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A Lost Apostrophe


Our parish church in Milton is All Saints'. It's a nice little church, very old, bits of it are 13th century, and a few years back they ripped out the pews and put in a new stone floor and new seats which improved it no end.

Stained glass window over altar at All Saints'

Although I'm not religious I like the church - the village photographic club meets there and the photo above was taken one evening on a very long exposure. As we get on with the regular churchgoers we also host a mailing list for the church on our list server.

Their vicar David Chamberlain is a good bloke too, very approachable, and so when he wandered past on Sunday with his dog I grabbed him for a moan.

My discontent: they've lost their apostrophe.

It's been creeping up for a while now. David's stopped using it in email, as has the church office, and if you look on their web site it pretty much always says "All Saints" without a trailing apostrophe1.

Was this a conscious decision?

Apparently not although David was, for him, curiously defensive about it. He claims the apostrophe "confuses people".

I despair. I really do. If it was St Paul's would they call the call the church St Pauls?

... actually perhaps they would. Sigh.

  1. Although I notice at least one exception in the navigation on the left. Actually the whole site suffers from a lack of possessive apostrophes: "Rectors website", "This weeks newsletter", and so on.

Tags: Milton, religion, words Written 03/11/08

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