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Some turn away from apostrophes

[2 Feb 2015] Another torrid week for that beleaguered outpost of literary strife, the apostrophe. First on the attack came the Legal Ombudsman, which contacted all its suppliers to say:

I am writing to advise you that the Legal Ombudsman has changed it’s address with immediate effect.

So that would be its, known to all third-formers as the possessive form of it.

And then came Strata Solicitors Ltd, proud claim-handlers for the Royal Mail Group. which thinks the plural of ‘client’ needs an apostrophe (twice, so it wasn’t an aberration) as follows:

We refer to the above and write as the appointed claim handlers for our above named client’s. In regards to the circumstances of the incident involving the Royal Mail driver hitting the wall we can advise you that liability is admitted by our client’s.

When even lawyers so badly misuse the errant tadpole, can it survive much longer?

Those examples piqued our interest for other reasons too. Why does Author 1 begin ‘I am writing to advise you that’, these words being redundant? Author 2 has a similar verbal tic with her ‘we can advise you that’ – also redundant. And surely she’s not giving advice but information? The charge-sheet lengthens inexorably. Why does she say ‘We refer to the above’ when everything beneath the heading must inevitably refer to the heading?

As for ‘In regards to’ and its close kin ‘With regards to’, why do so many authors and broadcasters desert the standard English of ‘Regarding’, ‘As regards’, ‘About’ and ‘In regard to’? It seems to be a change without benefit. Harrumph, harrumph.

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