As an experienced cabbie, Laurence Kirk knows his home town like the back of his hand.
But he has been refused permission to resume his old job - because he isn't sure where to place an apostrophe.
He was denied a private hire driver's licence after failing an English exam designed to test his grammar.
'It's barmy,' said Mr Kirk, a 50-year-old grandfather. [Not "Its barmy" then? - M.J.] 'I have spoken to a number of taxi firms and they are screaming out for drivers. There are so few coming through because of this bureaucracy.'
Mr Kirk was a taxi driver in Bournemouth six years ago but had to give it up because of family commitments.
His private-hire licence has since expired and so he applied to Bournemouth Borough Council for a new one but was told he would have to take a three-hour test.
It was a GCSE English exam, which consisted of 40 questions covering six pages. Mr Kirk, a former scaffolder and roofer, got a mark of 60 per cent - the pass rate was 70.
He said: 'The last time I went to school was 35 years ago and I didn't pass my exams then. If I couldn't pass them then what chance had I of passing one now?
'Most of the questions were, "Where does the apostrophe or semi-colon go in this sentence?" or, "Here are four sentences but which is the right way of writing it?"
'I did my best but it was not enough. So now I can't drive a taxi because I don't know where an apostrophe goes.'
Mr Kirk must now attend a taxpayer funded, four-week, part-time college course studying GCSE English before he can re-sit the exam.