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Beware the stray apostrophe

With Colchester United in the Championship, the Ipswich-based East Anglian Daily Times has the obvious headline problem of how to abbreviate the name of the new rival to their home team. Yesterday before ther first local derby, the EADP put up the headline “Beware the U’s”. It turned out to be perceptive as the score line read: Colchester 1, Ipswich 0.

But what was that apostrophe doing? It could not indicate possession, nor could it mark a contraction. On the other hand “Beware the Us” would be ridiculous.

Time to think again. Manchester United is often cut down to Man U and Col U would have fitted. With supporters of both teams (the towns are only 14 miles apart) among the EADT’s readers sports headline looks like becoming more interesting.

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