Apostrophe S or not? Possessives and store names

Is it Nordstrom or Nordstrom’s? Kroger or Kroger’s? Sbarro or Sbarro’s? This fun article at MPR’s Marketplace quotes ANS Vice President Laurel Sutton about the confusion over possessives. What’s official, and what do people just assume? Here’s a sample:

Our minds tell some of us that it definitely needs the extra letter. That “s” — so brief, so unobtrusive, so natural sounding — sneaks easily into our lexicon. But oftentimes it’s unnecessary. (None of the aforementioned names are possessive.)  Adding to the confusion, sometimes companies don’t even follow their own naming conventions. It’s called “TGI Fridays,” but the company has also used the spelling “T.G.I. FRiDAY’s” in its logos and Nordstrom storefronts have displayed “Nordstrom’s” in the past.

Bonus: take the quiz at the end of the article to find out how many you know!

How you can request to name a place in Ontario

Geographic names help us describe our surroundings and identify historic, cultural and natural features on the landscape. In Ontario, they have the Ontario Geographic Names Board. The latter reviews applications for new names for unincorporated places or geographic features and submits recommended geographic feature names to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry for approval in accordance with the Ontario Geographic Names Board Act.

To request a name, applicants should note that

  • Board primarily considers the local usage of a name,
  • commemorative names are reserved for those who made an outstanding contribution to a local area, Ontario or Canada,
  • land ownership on its own does not warrant changing a well-established name,
  • Board does not support commemorative names for living persons,
  • Board does not endorse naming contests or competitions and will not accept the results of these activities

Should Delhi be renamed as Dilli?

Vijay Goel, the Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistic and Implementation in the NDA government, demanded that the spelling of Delhi be changed to “Dilli”. Goel said he raised the query in the question hour session of the Upper House to which junior home affairs minister Nityananad Rai said the government would consider it if it received a proposal in this regard.

“Many people are anyway confused about the name as some call it Delhi while some others call it Dilli,” Goel said. He added that the demands for renaming the city to Indraprastha or Hastinapura had been raised earlier, but if Delhi had to stay then at least it should be correctly spelt.

About Names: Bertram never caught on in U.S. but rings loud in Shakespeare lore

Bertram “Bertie” Wilberforce Wooster (played by Hugh Laurie)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his July 2nd column, he looks at the history of the name Bertram.

The name Bertram is derived from ancient Germanic beraht-hramn, or “bright raven.” In Germanic myth, ravens were sacred to the god Odin. The first famous Bertram was St. Bertram of Ilam, a hermit living near Stafford, England, in the early eighth century. Later legends claim he was a Prince of Mercia who fell in love with an Irish princess, becoming a hermit after she and their infant son were devoured by a pack of wolves.

Bertram was regularly used in medieval England. Surnames Bartram and Buttrum derive from it. Bertram became rare after 1400, retaining some use in Northumberland, England’s northernmost county. The Victorian era love for medieval names revived Bertram. It was much more common in Britain. By 1910, there were 6,401 Bertrams in the U.S., while England’s 1911 census found 21,819. England’s population at that point was 36 million; the U.S. had more than 92 million people.

In 1880, when Social Security’s yearly baby name data starts, Bertram ranked 405th in the U.S. At its 1923 high point, it had risen slightly higher, to 394th. Bertram fell from the top 1,000 names in 1971.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Bertrams in history!

Nearly every country on Earth is named after one of these four things

Ever wondered how England got its name? As with countless other countries, it’s all down to a tribe of early settlers (in this case the fifth century Angles).

In fact, almost every country in the world is named after one of four things: 1) a tribe; 2) a feature of the land; 3) a directional description; or 4) an important person. That’s according to Quartz, which analysed 195 countries listed in the Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names.

The name given to the somewhat obscure study of place names itself is toponymy, and here you may find a selection of countries in each of the four categories, and how they got their monikers.

About Names: Despite ties to traitor, Benedict has enjoyed a long, blessed history

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his July 19th column, he looks at the history of the name Benedict.

Benedict is from Late Latin Benedictus, “blessed,” used as a name by early Christians. It became famous through St. Benedict of Nursia (480-550). As a young man, Benedict became a pious hermit near Subiaco, Italy. He attracted followers, becoming so admired that a jealous priest tried to kill him. A raven snatched poisoned bread out of his hands.

Sixteen Popes have been named Benedict, the first reigning from 575-579. The name became popular in medieval England, though in everyday use it was usually pronounced “Bennett.” That’s why Bennett is a common surname, ranking 86th in the 2010 United States census.

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), the American revolutionary general who plotted to turn West Point over to the British, made “a Benedict Arnold” a synonym for “traitor” to Americans. It might then seem surprising that Benedict was actually 10 times more common in America during the 19th century. Only 94 Benedicts are listed in Britain’s 1851 census, while 1,068 are found in the 1850 United States census, when the total populations were equal.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Benedicts in history!

Soon a new name for Brussels Airport?

This is, in any case, the dream of Kurt Ryon, the mayor of Steenokkerzeel, who would like the airport renamed, like in many other major cities. Paris, New York or Rome, for example, have chosen to give their airport the name of a famous character: Charles De Gaulle, John F. Kennedy or Leonardo da Vinci respectively. As part of the airport is located on the territory of his municipality, Kurt Ryon suggests renaming Brussels Airport and calling it “Bruegel International Airport” in the future.

Pieter Bruegel (1525?-1569) is widely regarded as the 16th century’s greatest Netherlandish painter. Brussels and Bruegel are inextricably linked. Not only did the most important part of his life took place in Brussels but he is also buried here and we can still admire an important part of his oeuvre in Brussels’ finest museums.

Decree Puts New North Macedonia Name on Army Uniforms

North Macedonia’s president says he has signed a decree renaming the army to correspond with the new name the country took in February to end a decades-long dispute with neighboring Greece. President Stevo Pendarovski said on Thursday 5 July 2019 the decree specifies that army uniforms will now bear the name “Army of the Republic of North Macedonia.”

Pendarovski serves as supreme commander of the armed forces as part of the largely ceremonial presidency he assumed in May 2019. The governments of Greece and what was then Macedonia agreed last year to add “North” to the younger country’s name in exchange for Greece dropping its objections to its northern neighbor joining NATO and the European Union.

Workshop “Aboriginal Place Names”, July 16 2019 (Mildura, Australia)

The workshopsAboriginal Place Names – Our Language Matter – First People Of The Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation” will provide opportunities for Traditional Owners to promote the importance of local Aboriginal languages in the place naming of roads, geographic features and localities. By Traditional Owners, they understand a descendant of the tribe or ethnic group that occupied a particular region before European settlement, especially when that occupation is recognised by Australian law. Importantly, participants from Local Government Areas and emergency services, in addition to planners and surveyors will be supported to explore ways for establishing strong professional relationships with Traditional Owners to enable future collaborative naming activities.

Day and time: JULY 16, 2019 9:00 AM – JULY 16, 2019 3:30 PM

Address: Alfred Deakin Centre, 190 Deakin Avenue, Mildura, Australia