Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Dropped Apostrophe But What Does It Really Mean

Waterstones logo

waterstones logon

Waterstone’s has become Waterstones, the change is hardly perceptible but behind it there is a canny move by James Daunt to erase the past and Tim Waterstone to boot.

The bookseller rather confusingly is reverting to the original Baskerville typeface dispensing with the last rebrand which saw it adopt a lower case ‘w’ within the logo.  “Waterstones is an iconic brand deserving of a capital W,” said Mr Daunt, but obviously not an apostrophe.

The irony of course is for a major book chain to adopt a grammatically incorrect form of spelling of it’s (note the apostrophe) name. There is a real brouhaha stirring up in the world of apostrophe pedants but as rather correctly pointed out if MacDonald’s and Sainsbury’s can get it right why can’t Waterstone’s.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph there is more to this than English grammar. Mr Daunt clearly want to stamp his own mark on the book chain. I can’t help but think though in this case he may have been misadvised. An apostrophe so it seems, is a simple thing in a complex world.

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