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Episode 1 - apostrophe in US names

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820634.  Tue May 31, 2011 10:25 am Reply with quote

Are they strictly talking about the posessive use of the apostrophe? I live in the City of d'Iberville, Mississippi, named after Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville. There is still some debate whether or not the "d" should be lower case or capitalized.

820641.  Tue May 31, 2011 10:54 am Reply with quote

This wasn't made as clear as it might have been.

It is possessive apostrophes which the United States Board on Geographic Names does not allow in place names (with five exceptions, notably Martha's Vineyard).

Elisive apostrophes are allowed, although there's some inconsistency - they usually get to stay when a place name is of French origin (as in D'Iberville* MS), but often not when it is of English origin (eg Land-O-Lakes MD).

Tildes are allowed in place names of Spanish origin (eg Cañon City CO) and the okina (which looks like an apostrophe but strictly isn't) is allowed in place names of Hawai'ian origin, but other diacritics and characters not used in English are not allowed.

* It is the policy of the USBGN that all place names begin with a capital letter, so it prefers the upper case <D> here.

820728.  Tue May 31, 2011 2:52 pm Reply with quote

And welcome pauljones :-)


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