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Baltimore Living

Best Grammar Nazi Fodder

“Fells” or “Fell’s”

It’s a debate that re-emerges periodically, but according to the neighborhood’s Wikipedia entry revision history, someone changed it from “Fells Point, Baltimore” to “Fell’s Point, Baltimore,” with the note, “Actual name has apostrophe.” Well, well, welly well. It seems for a while “Fells” was widely accepted; in fact the National Register of Historic Places (and Google Maps, FWIW) still uses “Fells” (as does City Paper). But most people who are interested in such things will point out that a possessive apostrophe is more historically accurate. It seems to us to be obviously correct, since the place gets its name from a guy whose last name was Fell, no “s.” The pendulum seems to be swinging toward “Fell’s,” if the aforementioned wiki entry is an indicator, although any mention of the naming controversy is conspicuously absent. History is written by the victors, except on the internet, where the history is written by the writers, or something. ?

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