The name of another London Underground station is causing confusion, especially for the grammar police.
First, we had the whole ‘ Battersea Power Station…Station’ confusion, and now this!
Londoners are divided about the grammar of a central London District and Circle line Tube stop.
The question is, is it St. James’s Park or St. James’ Park?
A Londoner took to the social media site Reddit to try and settle the debate once and for all.
They wrote: “Does anyone know why the Tube map reads St James’s Park (with the double “s’s”). I always thought it was grammatically incorrect – and noticed today that the sign in the station is how I would write it – and I’m confused!”
Their post included a picture of the roundel spelt St. James’ Park.
It turns out, over time, the station name has been spelt differently, illustrating changing practice in punctuation.
Up to the early 1930s, Tube maps showed the name as “St. James’ Park”.
But in 1933 Harry Beck created the first map where it was “St. James Park” without the apostrophe.
It then changed again. Since 1951 it has had the current name with the apostrophe S, becoming: St. James’s Park.
Now all apart from one of these roundels has been replaced (the one pictured in the Reddit user’s post)
To spot the sneaky odd one out, head to the last carriage on the Eastbound platform.
But some Londoners think that the current name makes no sense. After all, the apostrophe ‘s’ is used to indicate possession, therefore who is James and why does he own a park? And why is there an extra “s”?
“An apostrophe indicates a possessive, and it’s not his park (unless someone gave it to him). So it should be St James park.” one Reddit user declared.
The Tube stop is of course named as such due to the nearby 23-hectare green space nearby; St. James’s Park.
This Park takes its name from the district it is in ‘St. James’. The area’s name is derived from the dedication of a 12th-century leper hospital named after ‘Saint James the Less’. The hospital site is now occupied by St James’s Palace
‘James the Less’ was a key figure in Christianity – one of the twelve apostles. But even then, there is some confusion in religious texts over his identity, given that quite a few James’s are mentioned in the bible.
I don’t know about you, but James doesn’t even look like a real word anymore…