Apostrophes’ Place

A street sign in Cambridge, where I grew up, has been subject to a bit of guerrilla editing by somebody who cares furiously about apostrophes. I almost suspect my mum.


Scholars’ Walk I see the sense of (unless only one scholar is supposed to walk there), but what’s wrong with Pepys Court? Cambridge also has a Coleridge Road, a Cowper Road, a Jesus Lane, a Hobson Street, a St Barnabas Road, a Sedgwick Street, a Cavendish Road and many more named after people but with no possessive.

The apostrophe added to “Pepys” is completely unnecessary, the act of someone trying to be clever but who isn’t clever enough to think it through.

Which means, I’m relieved to say, that it couldn’t have been my mum.

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  • gnaddrig  On January 24, 2014 at 9:13 am

    What about Fitzgerald Place, shouldn’t that get treated to ‘s as well? Or is Fitzgerald an East Anglian cheese that can go without a possessive?

  • nigelgrantNigel Grant  On January 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Most people get the difference between contraction/possession apostrophes, but many aren’t sure of the possession/description divide. Can be either/or.

  • articomariktizomifar  On January 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I was wondering how long it would take for some clown to put his foot right in it. I said on Facebook a week ago that Pepys is not a possessive. The Court doesn’t belong to him: it’s just named after him. Just as Fitzgerald Place is named after Fitzgerald. I searched streetmap.co.uk for Churchill Road. Result: dozens and dozens – too many to count. A search for Churchill’s Road produces no matches. Could you do me a favour? Could you go and remove that apostrophe from Pepys?

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