This is it. The end. The breaking point. The last tick. The match in the powder barrel. The straw that broke the camel’s back. (Do you catch my drift?)
This has gone way too far and we’ve endured it for far too long. It has become almost unbearable and, at this point, something must be done. It has been said before. In fact, it has been screamed before. But here we go. One more time. I’ll say it again and hope for the best.
The guy’s name was “Johns.” Not “John.” Our university was named after him, and henceforth we are “The Johns Hopkins University.” John did not own Hopkins, therefore we are not “John’s Hopkins,” and John did not own a Hopkin (whatever that is) that owned a university, therefore we are not “John’s Hopkin’s University”–I swear I’ve seen it spelled that way before (see below).
Here are some serious JHU spelling blunders in popular media. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I hear someone botch the name at least once a day: friends, family friends, bosses, and (my personal favorite) doctors have all fallen into the “John Hopkins” trap. Sure, it’s phonetically easier to say “John” than it is to say “Johns,” but people don’t shorten his name because it’s less demanding on the tongue–they simply don’t know that his name was actually “Johns.” If your name was “James” and a majority of the world thought you were “Jame,” or if you were Thomas and everyone thought you were “Thoma,” would you correct them? Johns Hopkins died in 1873 and, while he left behind a university, he did not leave behind a spokesperson. I, for just a moment, would like to fill that role.
In an ideal world, this blog entry would go viral. News channels would be talking about “The Girl who Changed the World” (too far?), and not a soul would mispronounce his name again. But in all likelihood, that won’t happen. Therefore, I’d like to propose a back-up plan that will at least get us on the right track.
Share this entry with one person today! Tell someone that his name was “Johns.” Tweet about it, share it on Facebook, bring it up in the elevator (if you want to be really annoying). Spread the word! Let it be known once and for all: we are The Johnssssssss Hopkins University. Embrace the “S,” love the “S,” and respect the “S”; it’s indi*pen*able, nece**ary, and ab*olutely e**ential.