News of the Day

WHERE, OH WHERE, HAS THE APOSTROPHE GONE?

by Craig Altschul

That little tiny, but important, apostrophe has gone missing from Vermont’s Saxtons River and Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain. Nineteenth century state-wide maps and clocks included the apostrophe in names, but usage started to disappear in the early 20th century. Apparently it’s not just happening in Vermont, but nationwide, says the Times Argus. Even the U.S. Geological Survey’s Board on Geographic Names discourages apostrophes in place names. It’s even been their policy for more than 100 years. Vermont State Archivist Gregory Sanford has made it a one-man campaign to bring back the grammar puss. But, to be fair and balanced, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas comments, “Think of how many key strokes we’ve saved over the past few years since the apostrophe was eliminated.” So, if you happen to find a stray apostrophe, give it a permanent home. It’s tired and lonely.

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Craig Altschul

About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of SnoCountry.com. He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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