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That sign’s missing an apostrophe.

My friends and I can’t help but point out when a road or store sign, etc., is missing a grammatical marker of possession. I’m sure everyone has driven past a sign and thought to themselves, “Hmm… Why doesn’t that look right — wait — shouldn’t it say…” succeeded by minutes or hours of reflecting on the rules and guidelines of the English language.

Well, kids, the world may — or may not — be as stupid as we thought (link to original page & contents follow):
“Apostrophes suggesting possession or association are not to be used within the body of a proper geographic name (Henrys Fork: not Henry’s Fork). The word or words that form a geographic name change their connotative function and together become a single denotative unit. They change from words having specific dictionary meaning to fixed labels used to refer to geographic entities. The need to imply possession or association no longer exists. Thus, we write ‘Jamestown’ instead of ‘James’ town’ or even ‘Richardsons Creek’ instead of ‘Richard’s son’s creek.’ The whole name can be made possessive or associative with an apostrophe at the end as in ‘Rogers Point’s rocky shore.’ Apostrophes may be used within the body of a geographic name to denote a missing letter (Lake O’ the Woods) or when they normally exist in a surname used as part of a geographic name (O’Malley Hollow).”

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One response

  1. The Yo

    ***forgot to include source file. Next update, look for a “files an docs” page on blog home.

    April.1.11 at 12.08.am

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