Is it Ferry Farm or Ferry Farms?
I enjoy the occasional back-and-forth with readers, and this one is an interesting example. I’m omitting the reader’s name here because I don’t want her to think I’m picking on her. She asks a good question, and my response is cookie-cutter—I just repeated what it says in The Free Lance-Star Stylebook, an internal stylebook we created about 20 years ago to address style points specific to our coverage area.
Please be extra alert to the spelling of place names in our area. It’s “Ferry Farm,” not “Ferry Farms.”
Ferry Farm is the name of the Stafford County farm where George Washington lived as a boy. There’s also a Ferry Farm Baptist Church and Ferry Farm Elementary School. However, the Stafford subdivision is Ferry Farms. I don’t know why the developer or mapmaker decided it needed the S on the end, but someone did, and there is one.
I’m not saying we never get our Ferry Farm and our Ferry Farms confused, but in general if we write about Ferry Farms, we mean the subdivision.
Thanks for writing.
Thanks for the thorough response. I’ve asked people who live in the subdivision, and they tell me it is Ferry Farm! G.R.
Thanks for the thorough response. I’ve asked people who live in the subdivision, and they tell me it is Ferry Farm!
Uh, oh. Looks like we’re at an impasse. I hope Moody’s won’t lower our bond rating.
How about this:
People can call their subdivisions whatever they want. I certainly won’t be part of a posse telling them they must use an extra S that I don’t even agree with just because a developer—or someone, who knows?—decided that S was needed to differentiate the subdivision from the Washington family farm.
But when we’re writing in The Free Lance-Star about the Ferry Farms subdivision, we’ll continue to use the S at the end of Farm—for now. Maybe when we next update the FLS Stylebook we’ll think about decreeing every reference to Ferry Farm S-free.
By the way, I’d love to know how the subdivision got its S. I’m sure some people out there remember. If you know the history, please drop me a note at email@example.com.