Tiny town fights to add apostrophe to mountain's name

CBC's Carol Off talks to the town supervisor in Thurman, N.Y., where some people working to officially name a local mountain are taking issue with a federal board's stance against allowing apostrophes in place names.

Jimmy's Peak or Jimmys Peak?

CBC's Carol Off talks to the town supervisor in Thurman, N.Y., where some people working to officially name a local mountain are taking issue with a federal board's stance against allowing apostrophes in place names.

The controversy centres on a mountain that many locals call Jimmy's Peak.

"Jimmy is James Cameron, who was one of the original settlers in the town," town supervisor Evelyn Wood says. Some of his descendants still live in town, and they want the apostrophe to stay, Wood tells CBC's As It Happens. 

The Domestic Names Committee of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which serves as a "central authority" for name problems and proposals, disagrees. The board says apostrophes "suggesting possession or association are not to be used within the body of a proper geographic name."

There are, of course, some exceptions, but so far Jimmy's Peak is not one of them. The Wall Street Journal says the board has only granted five possessive apostrophe names in over 100 years, including Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Listen to the full interview to hear the latest about the fight over an apostrophe in the Adirondack town and elsewhere, including the U.K., where the Apostrophe Protection Society is working to preserve "the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language."