As advocates of good copywriting, we couldn’t believe our ears when we heard that book chain Waterstone’s is denouncing the apostrophe in their company name. Giving the reason that ‘in a digital world of URLs and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling was required’; Waterstone’s will now be known as Waterstones.
We’re up on our high horses here! For a company that sells books and encourages reading, surely they can’t spell their own organisation name incorrectly. If McDonald’s and Sainsbury’s can cope, there is no problem.
We can understand that Waterstone’s is a brand name now, rather than traditionally known after its founder, Tim Waterstone. So we can see that for their website address, having an apostrophe isn’t essential, but nor have they ever been in urls. And apostrophes can create broken links on website headings as they are not picked up by the website’s coding system. But to alter the company name and spell it incorrectly within the copy on their website is just not on!
We’re very possessive about the apostrophe at Marketing Zone!