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My sympathy, reduced

Listening to the news on the radio, I was outraged at the victimisation by Sunderland Council of greengrocer Steven Thoburn, who was selling his goods in pounds and ounces, rather than by metric measurements. It seemed especially pointless, as Mr Thoburn was happy to reckon his prices in grams if requested. EU directives, or at least their interpretation, seem to require us to think in a new unit. It's inevitable that we will only think in metric measures in the future, but a lot of people (and a lot of recipes for that matter) are still geared towards traditional measures.

So, my sympathies should be even greater now Mr Thoburn has been convicted. However, I'm not sympathetic. He is a greengrocer, and provides his customers with the greengrocer's apostrophe in a most heinous manner. Rather than explain my point any further, I'd like to show you a clipping from the letters page of our local free newspaper, which puts it perfectly.

Note: this writer has spotted the Popstars' rogue apostrophe. So I'm not the only one...

On the brief TV coverage alone, I've spotted signs in Mr Thoburn's shop offering Banana's and Baker's [potatoes - for baking, not of a baker]. Perhaps, when he re-writes them to show price by kilograms, he can get the punctuation right. I doubt it!

Throw away the key!!!

11 April 2001
Ashley Frieze