Favorite

Words, Sept. 17 

Jet skies, smilin' at me . . .

“Tourists move their jet skies out of a marina Monday in Cabo San Lucas as Hurricane Jimena heads toward Mexico's Baja California peninsula.” The plural of ski is skis.

 

Reading proof the other day, I followed the proofreader's first rule — assume that the writer is wrong — and carefully changed “St. Bernards Medical Center” to “St. Bernard's Medical Center.” I was well pleased with my work until the writer crept up, saw the change and presented evidence — rather loudly — that the official name of the Jonesboro institution has no apostrophe in it.

But why not? The saint's name was Bernard, and there was only one of him. Clearly, what's needed here is a possessive, not a plural. I called the medical center for an explanation, and the euphoniously named Rebecca Raspberry provided it.

For years, the medical center's name appeared in print in various ways, she said — St. Bernard's, St. Bernards', St. Bernards, St. Bernard. Finally, the board of trustees decided to officially dump the apostrophe, in the interest of simplicity and uniformity.

 

Resolve one question of nomenclature and another pops up. Journalists' work is never done. (An alternate theory holds that it never really begins.) Is the name of the baseball park in North Little Rock Dickey-Stephens or Dickey Stephens? The web site of the Arkansas Travelers, who play their home games there, calls the park Dickey-Stephens. But the Little Rock-North Little Rock telephone directory says the park is “Dickey Stephens,” and so do some sources on the web.

There may have been a Dickey Stephens worth honoring, perhaps an associate of Albert Pike and Rodney Parham, but the ballpark is named for two sets of brothers, the Dickeys and the Stephenses, ballplayers and financiers. Common sense says the name of the stadium is Dickey-Stephens. One sign at the stadium, visible from the street, clearly uses the hyphen. The sign over the main entrance shows a round dot, like a blue baseball, between the Dickey and the Stephens. Hyphenish enough.

 

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Viewed

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
  • The battle over Issue 1

    The odds are that the most spending in a statewide campaign in Arkansas this year will not be for a constitutional office, but instead in a battle over a proposed state constitutional amendment.
  • The cult of Trump

    Nearly 40 years ago our country was introduced to two major phenomena centering around cults: namely, the Moonies and the Shiite Muslims. There were others, as well, and I soon became fascinated with the dynamics of cults and cult leaders (both religious and secular) in general — leading me to read a number of books and articles, some even written by those who had been deprogrammed after spending time in a cult.
  • Trump doctrine

    Let's face it: President Trump enjoys hurting and humiliating people, and that's the thing some of his loudest supporters like about him. Making women and children cry makes him feel manly and powerful. The more defenseless, the better. He particularly enjoys punishing racial minorities.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Him, again

    • That's why it is better to bag babes at the bigger libraries. You get a…

    • on June 20, 2018
  • Re: Legislative boodlers

    • The U6 unemployment rate is still at 8%, partly because they can get benefits and…

    • on June 19, 2018
  • Re: Him, again

    • Regardless of my success or lack of it, I've been way ahead of Trump all…

    • on June 19, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation