Guy’s Side of the Story

Following my last post, I was surprised to receive an email in my inbox from a featured player in the story of Professors Row!

Here it is:

Greetings Kate,
Sorry for the confusion. There’s only one professor who lives on that street. All the rest of the homes are fraternity and sorority houses with the occasional dorm. Sorry for bailing out on you. TUPD tends to get a bit odd during the summer and I was already late for a business dinner. I hope you didn’t get into too much trouble.
Good luck!
Bald guy

Hey, for the record, I called you Guy in the story, not Bald Guy. :-)

So, apparently there’s only one professor living on Professors Row. In that case, would that change the placement of the apostrophe?

It depends.

Does this row belong to one professor? Is this one professor’s row? If that’s the case, then the street should be called Professor’s Row, not Professors’ Row, and definitely not Professors Row.

If that’s the case, then it is more than certain that Professors Row is an incorrect term.

However, I doubt that the street was named with the intention of it belonging to one professor. To be perfectly frank, I don’t feel like researching this, so is there a Tufts scholar out there? Is there anyone who knows the history of the street?

This is just a guess, but I would think that the street was named after multiple professors, it historically being a place where professors lived, back in the day when all professors lived on campus.

In that case, Professors’ Row would be correct.

Either way, they could have simplified things by simply titling it Professor Row. That could indicate one or many professors.

I need someone to check on this. Was the street originally in place for many professors, or has it always been home to one professor, guarding over the fraternities?

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2 responses to “Guy’s Side of the Story

  1. Did you ever consider that it’s just Professors Row, as in Professors Street, Professors Way, Professors Avenue? That’s probably the case, and therefore it’s not possessive, and no apostrophe is needed. It’s just like Winter Street, or School Lane, or any other street name that is a noun.

    I think you got carried away; perhaps you should find another tall guy and remove your unwanted apostrophe from the Tufts campus.

  2. I was just talking about how terrible it is that people use nouns as modifiers during my break for drinking coffee this morning. Of course, my fellow technicians of information who work at the desk where one seeks help disagreed, and instead wanted to talk about the duty to serve on a jury, plans during the weekend, shows on television, and, of course, sports. One co-worker told us about when David Ortiz hit a run-all-the-way-to-home during the game of baseball played this past Day to recognize patriots. (He snuck into the lounge for employees to watch it, as he didn’t want to use a day of vacation.)

    But their day of judgment will come when they use a noun as a modifier on a public sign, and someone who knows the language of English well will correct it.

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