As you are probably aware, our contemporary English content is now available through (, and our old English dictionary site no longer exists.

As a result of this, this forum is now closed.

The English dictionary community team would like the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all of you who participated by posting questions and helping other community members.
We hope this forum was useful, and that you enjoyed being a part of it.

If you would like to get in touch with any OED-related queries, please write to
[email protected]

And if you would like to contribute suggestions to the OED, please do so by visiting:

Thank you very much indeed, and good bye!
The community team

Apostrophe superfluity[sic]

OED title is
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
I think the title is wrong:
The dictionary will be used by not just the owner.
Actually even written LEARNERS
you don't need an apostrophe as it's a title.

You don't need the apost in
Parking at Owner's Risk.
And THAT has to be singular as an individual person is being addressed.


  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    @vjamal915, the title is almost sixty years old. For the first forty-one years it was titled the Oxford Advanced Lerarner's Dictionary of Current English or OALDCE. It established such a dominance in its chosen market that the publishers felt they didn't need to say that it was a dictionary of English. But the original market pitch remains and hold good today. A dictionary is used by one reader at a time. And the reader this dictionary is designed for is an advanced learner.

    Apostrophes are often omitted in non-sentences such as titles, place names and trade names — but then so are verbs, articles and other grammar words. With the exception of US place names, there are no rules. The only criteria are easy legibility and, sometimes, a hint at modernity. Even so, many traditionalists include an apostrophe.

    Book titles are perhaps the least likely of non-sentences to omit apostrophes. And English language teaching titles are the least likely of all book titles.

    Moreover, a car can easily be owned by more than one person.

    [There's a US law (a federal law, I think) that place names must not be spelled with an apostrophe.]

Sign In or Register to comment.