Another Government Scandal

Dan Wardby Dan Ward

The Mainstream Media is ignoring a scandalous story of government overreach, a tyrannical example of bureaucracy run amok, not to mention a grammatical affront to the English language.

As the Wall Street Journal points out in its A-Hed column today, the Domestic Names Committee of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (yes, that actually exists) has a thing against apostrophes.

The brave patriots in the town of Thurman, New York, are discovering that the black-hatted Committee’s (er, Committees) members have declared war on the apostrophe, coldly deciding that a soon to be renamed mountain will never carry the name Jimmy’s Peak (or Jimmie’s Peak or James’ Peak, for that matter).

You might think the culprits are merely low-level functionaries, but the Journal report uncovers an uncomfortable and scandalous truth.  According to the Board on Geographic Names, some 250,000 apostrophes have been “scrubbed” from federal maps since 1890.

I find it shocking that no publication aside from the Journal has dared to cover this breaking story.  Surely, the Today’s News Herald of Lake Havasu, the Investor’s Business Daily or the Coeur d’Alene Press should jump on this story.

Our nation’s founders, who saw fit to use an apostrophe in the very first sentence of our Declaration of Independence, would be appalled to learn that our government has claimed possession of the possessive.

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