Monday, June 29, 2009

To 'e' or Not to 'e'?

Greene Street in North Smithfield, R.I., was named after General Nathanael Greene. Or perhaps it's actually "Green" Street, named after a local Green family—or maybe after the village green, or the color green.

The debate over the spelling of this street seems to draw equally strong opinions on both sides. It is perhaps most illustratively displayed in the green painted lettering above the door on the old grange, where the last "e" in Greene appears to have been painted over in white.

"Green Street was named after the village green," says North Smithfield's unofficial town historian Irene Nebiker, who, though sure of the inspiration, was not sure the source or original timing of the name.
Denise Davis, a longtime resident who serves as secretary in the town's Planning Department, said that despite those who would say otherwise, "Green" is the wrong spelling.

"Legally it's supposed to be with an 'e,' she said. "On the 9-1-1 list, it's with an 'e.'"

And the sign outside the Planning Department's window that shows a "Green" spelling?

"The street sign is wrong," said Davis. [Link]

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