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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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October 03, 2017

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Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

I received a message from Adam through LinkedIn. Here are his two concerns, which I quote:

1. What's your reference for St. Andrew's?
This may be named after the town of St Andrews in Scotland, which (incorrectly) omits the apostrophe in its own name, but the sign would be correctly imitating the error of the proper name.

2. In 7 and 8, what's your reference for Buffalo Bill's being correct?
This is likely a reference to the American football team of the Buffalo Bills, which were named after Buffalo Bill Cody. Since there was a whole team instead of just one man, it became the "Bills." Therefore, "Buffalo Bills" could be an acceptable spelling for an establishment, depending on the meaning.


Good questions to think about, Adam. Thanks for them.

1. I can't find anything quickly online that explains a historical reference in the name choice of St. Andrews House, which is a condo complex. I'd look to the true origin: Since his name was St. Andrew, the possessive form would be St. Andrew's.

2. I don't see any team references in the Buffalo Bill's online photos. Rather, the historical figure "Buffalo Bill" appears as their inspiration. It's the inconsistent rendering that bothers me most. Compare these two images:
http://bit.ly/2xh0oPb
and
http://bit.ly/2hPsizJ

I appreciate the way you think, Adam. Thanks for the questions.

Lynn

Amy

Thank you, Lynn, for an entertaining way to test ourselves on using apostrophes. It drives me insane to read various publications, both professional and "home-grown," where the apostrophe is used incorrectly. I always learn something from your newsletter and appreciate the resources you offer to those of us who want to be great at the punctuation game!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

My pleasure, Amy! Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Lynn

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Lynn Gaertner-Johnston
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