General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

Why do they never use apostrophes in road signs?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21399 points ) January 30th, 2010

For example: ‘St. Marys Rd.’

This is not the only instance, but I can’t think of any others at the moment. I always wonder this when I pass a sign that needs a possessive apostrophe and it isn’t there.

Why?? It tweaks my punctuation-loving OCD a bit. :)

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11 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Because they’ve been overused (or in some cases used up entirely) at the grocery store, where they sell “Egg’s”.

Spinel's avatar

Road signs need to stay simple. The more junk there is on a sign, the more distracted drivers get. And that means….CRASH.

Fred931's avatar

Less time spent formatting the font that exists on the sign?
Less ink wasted?
Uncanny governmental hatred of apostrophes?
Uncanny governmental stupidity that is to some extent existent within grammar?
To irritate OCD people like you? (More uncanny governmental hatred)
Erm… The frizzer question ripped that portion of the space time continuum?

absalom's avatar

I believe its a conspiracy.

liliesndaisies's avatar

Because they are distractions.
More distractions, more accidents.

Jeruba's avatar

If I had to guess, my guess would be that there is a cost per inch and that punctuation adds to the length without adding essential information. But I really don’t know. Most road signs were made before the population as a whole lost its grip on the meaning and use of apostrophes.

gailcalled's avatar

I saw a sign today in our little PO. A landscaper had a flier up; he was peddling his skills at building dry walls, gazebos, walkways, and patio’s.

Supacase's avatar

The street I grew up on is confused. There is a sign on each side of the road another one intersects it. One says “Duncans Mill Rd.” and the other says “Duncan’s Mill Rd.” The are across the street from each other. It has always bothered me.

morphail's avatar

I know that some governments have decided to not use apostrophes on road signs for reasons of brevity and simplicity. But it’s worth pointing out that there never was a golden age when every educated speaker agreed on the rules for using apostrophes.

belakyre's avatar

I can see it now…

Me: leans out of car window while driving My goodness, an apostrophe on a sign, what an anomaly!! I wonder this could mea..
Unfortunate Driver: Hey kid, waatcchh ittt!!!!!

I think all of you guys know what will happen next.

downtide's avatar

The greengrocer has stolen them for all his Apple’s and Orange’s.

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