Someone once said that if the English language is going to die, at least it will die laughing. But this kind of story makes me want to cry.
Please read it, since you may not believe me without seeing it yourself. In fact, I still can’t really believe it.
England has decided to remove aspostraphes from its street signs. King’s Heath will now become Kings Heath. What’s the reason? Apostraphes are too confusing.
According to Councilor Martin Mullaney, who heads the city’s transport scrutiny committee, “Apostrophes denote possessions that are no longer accurate, and are not needed,” he said. “More importantly, they confuse people. If I want to go to a restaurant, I don’t want to have an A-level (high school diploma) in English to find it.”
Maybe this is why Tom Daschle didn’t pay his taxes — he found them too complicated. And perhaps that’s why Rod Blagojevich crashed and burned — he found bribery and corruption laws too confusing. And no doubt this is why the auto industry continued manufacturing substandard gas-guzzlers, why the banking industry collapsed, and why congress is throwing a trillion dollars good dollars after a trillion bad — because responsible business practices and real solutions to difficult problems are just too hard to understand.
But don’t imagine that it can’t get any worse. It will. The closing of the American mind was probably never limited to North America, but it’s spreading like cancer.
It’s more important now to remember Aristophanes: Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.