The apostrophe goes underground in 1951 …

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THE APOSTROPHE GOES UNDERGROUND IN 1951

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London Underground and its predecessor companies have had a somewhat mixed relationship with the apostrophe over the years, insofar as its usage on their maps is concerned.

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Now, at the risk of sounding like a complete anorak,  there are currently eight station names with apostrophes :

  • Earl’s Court 
  • King’s Cross St. Pancras 
  • Queen’s Park
  • Regent’s Park
  • Shepherd’s Bush
  • St. James’s Park
  • St. John’s Wood
  • St. Paul’s

Now check out the London Underground map below dated 1949 .

1949

Click on the map to enlarge it. Look at all the stations I’ve just mentioned. They are ALL missing the apostrophe. Now, go forward just a couple of years to the map produced in 1951.

1951

In 1951 there was a major revision apostrophe-wise when all eight stations received them.

apostrophe

 St. James’s Park has had an interesting time over the years.

It has appeared as St. James Park, St. James’ Park and in its current (correct) form of St. James’s Park.

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And as for Earl’s Court … well just don’t get me started !

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I could go on. I won’t. You’ve suffered enough.

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 If you are in need of a little gentle therapy after your roller-coaster ride on the underground system, then you should really pay a visit to The Apostrophe Protection Society

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References:

  1. The Underground and the Apostrophe. ( Antony Badsey-Ellis) Published in The Underground Railway Society magazine. November 2008.
  2. A History of the London Tube Maps (Online resource)

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One response to “The apostrophe goes underground in 1951 …

  1. I never knew there was such a debate over apostrophes!

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