Friday, February 09, 2007

Misspelled street names are history

What is the correct spelling for this street: Poinsetta Drive or Poinsettia Drive? Mapquest shows it as Poinsetta Drive but the Macvan Map 21st and 22nd editions show it as Poinsettia Drive. If in fact it is Poinsetta Drive, did someone originally misspell it or what?
- Rusty Johnson

ANSWER: Either the Cragmor developer or the city department that recorded the name in the mid-1960s registered it as Poinsetta and it became official.
Until the mid-1980s, when developers named the streets as they platted their developments, they sometimes misspelled them — accidentally or on purpose.
There were times the names were recorded incorrectly and in other cases they were spelled wrong on the street signs and never changed. Whatever the spelling, that became the street’s name.

Then the city revised its ordinance to simplify the naming process, eliminate duplications and correct spellings.

Why not just change Poinsetta, you might wonder. First, it’s history. In addition, property owners on Poinsetta would have to agree that it should be changed, and the agency (planning, police, fire, post office, etc.) requesting the corrected spelling must pay for it.

Apparently a lot of people have a poinsettia problem, because Google lists 131,000 entries for people spelling it “poinsetta,” the way many people pronounce it.


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