Possessive apostrophes - Is local government dumbing down?

You might not automatically think that a council's decision over road signs could trigger a national debate about literacy and punctuation. But just to show that there are occasions when local government can touch on such important issues, the news this week that Birmingham City Council plans to drop apostrophes from its road signs managed to spark complaints that it was "dumbing down" and contributing in its own singular way to lowering standards.

Sky News Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship: the shortlist

All those who applied for the Sky News Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship have now been contacted individually, so I can publish details of the shortlist. Congratulations go to (alphabetically) Laura Hartmann, Alan McGuinness, Lucy Ross-Miller, John Saunders and Kelsey Williams. They will undergo a written test and a panel interview tomorrow (and should check their emails for some addditional details).

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