This is how you use an apostrophe to reinforce your identity

in Musings

I drove past a Co-op store the other day. As I do, I immediately started to think whether there was anything useful I could pick up while I was passing to save time another day. Happily, this scintillating train of thought was quickly interrupted by a moment of intrigue when I saw the store’s sign. It said:

Welcome to Ledbury’s Co-op

When I got home, I Googled this way of naming a store to see if every Co-op uses the possessive apostrophe like this. They do!

I then wondered if every supermarket uses apostrophes like this. They don’t! Tesco signs, for example, simply say:

Welcome to Tesco Ledbury


Why, you may be wondering, is all this important?

Well, the way the Co-op signs its stores, the use of the apostrophe indicates the store belongs to the town it’s in. This is perfect for a store that is, as its name says, a co-op – a business that belongs to its members (in this case, its customers).

On the other hand, Tesco is a PLC, owned by its shareholders. Its signs put the store and the town it’s in on an equal footing.

It’s a tiny thing that makes a massive difference. I hope you appreciate it as much as I did.

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