NAMES are an obvious and key part of the identity of people and places.
However anybody who visits the local hospital or needs to get to the streets, businesses or attractions in the vicinity that share its name, may have noticed that the area is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis.
The hospital, run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is according to its sign, called ‘Kings Mill Hospital’.
But travel a few metres down the A38 and the sign on the front of the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust ambulance station strangely reads ‘Kingsmill Ambulance Station’ - with the two words suddenly becoming one.
And that is not where the confusion about the name ends.
The sign at the nearby reservoir clearly refers to the expanse of water as ‘Kingsmill Reservoir’, but the road signs that show motorists the way to get there call it ‘Kings Mill Reservoir’ and so, mysteriously, the one word again becomes two.
Street signs for Kings Mill Lane, Kings Mill Way and Kings Mill Road East all use two words but check an Ordnance Survey map of Nottinghamshire and another spanner is thrown into the works - an apostrophe.
According to the map, the hospital is named King’s Mill Hospital - as incidentally is the reservoir.
This is surely the correct English, indicating that the Mill is owned by the King.
And on the hospital’s own website, the correct form with the apostrophe is used.
But as bookshop Waterstones showed last week by announcing that it is dropping the apostrophe from its name, apostrophes are becoming a bit of an endangered species in the names of familiar brands.
So what is the correct form of the name? In the Chad, we go with King’s Mill and put the other versions mostly down to mistakes or oversights.
But if you know differently, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.