Apostrophe agony

In my employer’s shiny nearly-new building, the facilities on each of the sixteen floors were boldy marked MENS and WOMENS. I winced every time I walk by. So would Lynn Truss, author of the wonderful 2003 book Eats, shoots & leave the zero tolerance approach to punctuation. She advocates carrying a marker pen at all times in order to correct grammatically incorrect signs.

Accountant Stefan Gatward became known in England for correcting the grammar of a street sign in Royal Tunbridge Wells, from St Johns Close to St John’s Close. All power to him, I say.

Apostrophes in street signs have been banned by Birmingham City Council because its staff spend too much time dealing with complaints about grammar. The Telegraph quotes John Richards, the founding (and only?) member of the Apostrophe Protection Society as saying that the decision was “absolute defeatism”. Just so.

Frenchs Forest is in Sydney. I wonder what sort of quality “frenchs” is. (The forest is named after one John ffrench a nineteen century landholder, who possessed it, so surely a possessive would apply, making it Ffrench’s Forest.

There were rush cutters in Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay? So why isn’t it Rushcutters’ Bay?