Apprentice star Luisa Zissman defends apostrophe move

 
Luisa Zissman Luisa Zissman was runner-up in this year's series of The Apprentice

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Star of the BBC's The Apprentice, Luisa Zissman, has defended her decision to ditch the apostrophe from the name of her new baking accessories business.

Zissman surprised her Twitter followers by asking: "Is it Bakers Toolkit or Baker's Toolkit with an apostrophe?"

In the end Zissman, who was runner-up in this year's show, plumped for doing without the punctuation mark because "I like the look of bakers".

She told BBC Radio 5 live she thought people had over-reacted to the move.

'Brand feel'

She said: "I really don't know what the big hoo-ha is all about.

"I've ditched the apostrophe. You look at big brands, like Waterstones, who famously ditched their apostrophe last year - it's about marketing, about the look and feel of a brand, and I just don't think it's necessary."

"We are part of a new digital media age where you don't have apostrophes in URL names and I think it can be confusing for consumers if there's an apostrophe in your brand name and they go onto your website and there's no apostrophe in your URL. It's just not used any more."

Zissman admitted she was "never very good at nouns, verbs and pro-verbs" even though she got an A grade in English at A-level.

'Not big deal'

The 25-year-old from St Albans added: "To be honest, this isn't about grammar. I know that the brand name will be grammatically incorrect.

"But it's really not a big deal to me, it's about creating a brand and something that will be recognised and I'm just leading by example. Look at Harrods, Selfridges, Boots - they don't have the apostrophe.

"Obviously in the content of the website, I will put apostrophes in. I will have someone proofread the website for me.

"I'm brilliant at building multi-million-pound businesses but perhaps grammar isn't my strongest point."

Zissman came second in BBC One's The Apprentice after Lord Sugar picked doctor Leah Totton, from Londonderry, to be his new business partner. Zissman's business is expected to launch later this year.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 679.

    The firm I work for used to have an apostrophe in its name but dropped it a few years ago. The number of companies that had previously done it did influence us but the biggest factor was that clients and staff had trouble using the apostrophe correctly in any case. Zissman is, sadly, right - grammar and punctuation have less of a place than they did. The publicity won't do her any harm either!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 678.

    This is absolutely a 'big deal'. In some instances, such as Waterstones, there is a branding-related justification for omitting an apostrophe, but without one in this instance the name of the business loses all meaning. I would not feel comfortable doing business with someone who could not get this right - nor would I want to buy products from them.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 677.

    I've just read a comment which, although I have no doubt about its veracity, highlights the problem here. Apparently English exams are about reviewing and analysing poems and books rather than testing spelling and grammar. I left school 31 years ago and as yet haven't had to review a single book or poem but the ability to spell and punctuate have come in very useful on an almost daily basis.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 676.

    Why does anybody give a hoot about this? The woman is nothing more than a barrow-boy (girl). And that's all Sugar is too for that matter.

    You want to know what's wrong with the UK? Make a start where salesmen, conmen, and banksters, are held in higher regard than engineers and scientists.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 675.

    #672
    This has to be the most utterly brain dead topic on the HYS site ever.
    ----------
    Nah, they had one on Japanese Fax machine enthusiasts when all hell was kicking off in the middle east and there were half a dozen hot topics on the home front...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 674.

    673.Anglerfish
    Just a bit of fun. Lighten up.
    /////
    I resent the fact that, under the guise of being a news story, the BBC are in breach of their own rules by promoting a private enterprise. The vast majority of people here have seen right through this - and the BBC's response is, as ever, to ignore it.. Doubly offensive when important news is overlooked in favour of this bilge.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 673.

    672. Conner De Public

    'This has to be the most utterly brain dead topic on the HYS site ever.'

    Just a bit of fun. Lighten up.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 672.

    Apprentice star Luisa Zissman defends apostrophe move.

    This has to be the most utterly brain dead topic on the HYS site ever.
    Who has control of these subjects?
    Hang your head in shame BBC.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 671.

    Can I get standard fries with that may not be that big of a deal but in my defense I think it sucks.
    ...and we're worrying about an apostrophe?

    Of course we've also imported junk food, the US political system replete with two right of centre business lobby controlled puppet parties and toxic debts....

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 670.

    669. rabbiesstarpupil

    Point taken. I was just trying to raise the point that things change and elements considered vital at one time may be less so fifty-three years later. For example I haven't had a hand written business letter for years. I haven't got a clue if my correspondents can spell or not because they're all using spellcheckers. Things move on.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 669.

    Anglerfish; Ok - you're entitled to your opinion. Thanks to the BBC. My comment wasn't personal, general, only.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 668.

    This sort of thing normally happens when cheap products are made with cheap labour in the far east etc and if "lord" Sugardaddy has anything to do with it it probably did.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 667.

    Doesn't really matter how it's spelt, the minute you find out she is anything to do with the dreadful, talentless apprentices the interest will disappear.

  • Comment number 666.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 665.

    663. rabbiesstarpupil

    ' Concluding, you'll have guessed, legible, too. How many could handle this situation nowadays? Answers on a postcard'

    How many need to? You left school fifty three years ago. How would you have responded if when you applied for that job somebody had been applying expectations of 1907. Answers on a digital device communicating through Bluetooth.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 664.

    650. rabbiesstarpupil

    Can you give an example of where poor grammar has 'cost some poor soul' in the way you suggest?

    659. Mac Man

    'Typical of today's generation! Can't be bothered to do anything right'

    Read comment 660. There's someone who has actually thought about it.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 663.

    I left school in 1960, a handwritten letter of introduction, order of the day to a prospective employer. May I point out; if comma, colon, apostrophe and the like weren't properly inserted - no chance of a position. Concluding, you'll have guessed, legible, too. How many could handle this situation nowadays? " Answers on a postcard ".

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 662.

    "Grammar Move"?? FHS what on earth kind of story is this other than giving a woman most of us have never heard of free publicity for her new business which most of us will never use? That sound you can hear is the non commercial ethos of the BBC spinning in its grave.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 661.

    A whole day on this inane piece of drivel/advertising/self-promotion - AS USUAL BBC, IT'S TWO FINGERS UP TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC - remember us, we pay your wages?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 660.

    As one or two commentators have pointed out, we are talking about a brand name, where the rules of grammar do not apply. There are brands with letters reversed or numbers in place of letters. Grammatically, they are incorrect but, as a brand they do the job of capturing attention.

 

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