Thursday, May 16, 2013

Federal government fails third-grade punctuation

Posted By on Thu, May 16, 2013 at 7:21 PM

I kid you not: The lack of apostrophes in the names of landmarks — Zebulon Pike's peak, for instance — is on purpose. This heinous bit of punctuation slaughter is actually condoned and encouraged by the federal government, comes the word from today's Wall Street Journal.

"The U.S., in fact, is the only country with an apostrophe-eradication policy," writes Barry Newman. "The program took off when President Benjamin Harrison set up the Board on Geographic Names in 1890. By one board estimate, it has scrubbed 250,000 apostrophes from federal maps. The states mostly—but not always—bow to its wishes."

It has something to do with possibly confusing somebody that the geographic feature in question is actually owned by the person it's named after — and either I have that wrong, or the government assumes we're all fucking mentally short — but that argument's trash.

And there's no hope, either, according to one committee staffer quoted by the Journal: "We don't debate the apostrophe."

So, screw it. I've never met a law I didn't break after deciding it was created by dullards, so get ready, Colorado Springs. Get ready for Pike's Peak. (And just to beat the critics to it: Thanks Obama.)

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