Sunday’s “06880” story about unenforceable, hypocritical or just plain odd street signs struck a chord with John Suggs.
He responded, noting a sign on the Sherwood Island Connector his 7-year-old son Joshua spotted on the last day of school:
“Considering the thousands of times I’ve driven past that sign without noticing the misspelling,” John said, “I want to acknowledge not only my eagle-eye son Josh, but all the wonderful teachers at Greens Farms Elementary School, especially Mrs. Mary Ellen Barry, who have seen to it that our 1st graders know the correct spelling of their school, their neighborhood and the street sign. Maybe we should send the sign makers back to Mrs. Barry for a makeup lesson?”
Well done, Joshua. And you were probably just being polite not to mention the lack of a space between “Green” and “Farms.”
But wait — there’s more!
Shouldn’t it be “Green’s Farms”? — with an apostrophe — I asked John.
Quickly, he replied:
I just did some quick fact checking on the history of the correct spelling, and discovered a few things.
The elementary school website spells it both ways on different pages of their official web site (click here, then click on “Directions to GFS”).
Wikipedia states: “Green’s Farms Metro-North Railroad station is one of two New Haven Line stations serving the residents of Westport, Connecticut. The station is located in the Greens Farms area of Westport in the southeastern part of town, and the technically-incorrect apstrophe in the station name dates to New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad ownership of the line. No other entity spells “Greens Farms” with an apostrophe.”
(“06880” notes that Wikipedia itself spells “apostrophe” incorrectly, and hyphenates “technically-incorrect” even though we have always learned that words ending in “ly” should not be hyphenated.)
The neighborhood association, John says, uses the apostrophe — contrary to Wikipedia’s assertion that “no other entity” does.
So does Green’s Farms Congregational Church.
Greens Farms Academy — which, as an expensive private school, should probably know such things — ignores the apostrophe.
Basically it is anyone’s guess as to which version is the “correct” usage now, as opposed to the original usage which appears to have been with the apostrophe. I, personally, have always spelled it Greens Farms myself — and I am one of the representatives of the GF area on the RTM (District 5)!
So most likely there is a whole other blog surrounding the “apostrophe versus no apostrophe” debate!
Consider it done.