Mighty Red Pen

July 13, 2007

My way or the highway parkway

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 8:18 am


Thanks to SteamedPenguin for this one. His partner in crime (i.e., cherished girlfriend) explains, “The road is originally ‘King’s Highway’ but when the park board took it over, naturally it became part of the the parkway system. Hence Highway Parkway.”

She continues, “It didn’t matter much because nobody really knew what the pretentious
name was for what most of us call Dupont Avenue. (It was in tiny print on the cross street signs.) But a few years ago, the park board went full force with signage, as if to make sure no one forgets how positively silly the name now sounds.”

Gentle reader, I know you are wondering about the apostrophe. Apparently, it “got lost in the shuffle.”



  1. Isn’t it like algebra, in which the “ways” cancel out and the name would simply be “Kings High Park?”

    I forgot which comedian complained that one drives on parkways but parks on driveways. Another discussion, I suppose.

    Comment by HelensDad — July 19, 2007 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  2. The apostrophe in “Kings” could have been lost due to the United States Postal Service and the United States Board on Geographic Names, which have been responsible for a great number of lost apostrophes. There’s some information about it here, under the section marked “Burgh to Burg, Borough to Boro”: “The possessive form should be avoided whenever it can be done without destroying the euphony of the name, or changing its descriptive application.” Given another rule, “In the case of names consisting of more than one word, it is desirable to combine them into one word,” King’s Highway could have become “Kingshighway” as it did in St. Louis and other places.

    Comment by Grant Barrett — August 1, 2007 @ 6:01 am | Reply

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