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Apostrophe anger at road sign error

A rogue apostrophe on a town centre sign caused "bewilderment and irritation" when it was pointed out to the chairman of a society set up to protect the much-abused punctuation marks.

The temporary road sign in Hartlepool, stating "Parking Bay's Suspended", was erected in the North East town while gas works were carried out.

The simple, but all-too common, grammatical mistake left John Richards of the Apostrophe Protection Society puzzled by what it was trying to achieve.

The society's founder and chairman said: "My reaction is mainly bewilderment mixed with irritation.

"What on earth does the apostrophe mean?

"On my web page I make it clear that plurals never need an apostrophe.

"The apostrophe obviously still needs protection."

The former newspaper sub-editor runs the website.

Hartlepool Council denied any blame for the sign.

It was thought to have been erected by a local firm on behalf of one of the utilities.

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