Internet killed the grammar star? Waterstone’s scraps apostrophe to boost search engine rankings

13/01/2012

High street bookshop Waterstone's is dropping the apostrophe from its name to make it more "versatile" for online use. Managing director James Daunt said the amendment was a "more versatile and practical" spelling of the name for the digital world. The book shop has also reinstated the Baskerville serif font with a capital W, which Daunt said "reflects authority and confidence".

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He added: "It also reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers."

The removal of the apostrophe also has subtler connotations. Tim Waterstone has not worked at the chain for well over a decade and the removal of the possessive punctuation makes it clear to shoppers that the bookshops no longer belong to him.

Daunt added: “It reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers.”

The new, apostrophe-free name will be gradually implemented on all of the retailer’s written communication, in stores and online.

The book chain was bought last year by Russian businessman Alexander Mamut from HMV Group, the struggling music retailer.

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