No One Knows How To Spell Schermerhorn, Not Even The MTA

Hoyt's Schermama!
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Hoyt's Schermama! Courtesy DNAinfo

For those riding along the A,C, or G lines, it has almost become a ritual: the caustic, ever-varying pronunciation by the train's conductor of the stop where the A meets the G.

Favorites include: "This is Hoyt-Schemerher," "This is Hoyt-Scherma," "This is Hoyt-Schermerhan," "This is Hoyt-Scherrrrrrmerrrrr," and, our favorite, "This is Hoyt."

The MTA has even lost track of how many Rs are in the station's name, as evidenced above. (An MTA spokesman told DNAinfo the mistake, spotted by a persnickety straphanger on a sign outside the station, would be corrected "in the next day or two.")

While we're on the subject, just who was this Schermerhorn, a namesake who vexes us to this day? Was he a wise man? If you said his name backwards, does he return to the fifth dimension? Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we can wonder no more!

According to the Macaulay Honors College, Schermerhorn Street was named after the Dutchman Peter Schermerhorn, who, in 1795, owned a massive rope factory, called a "ropewalk." The "ropewalk" was needed to stretch the rope a long distance, and the path on which it was stretched eventually became Schermerhorn Street. Urban legend has it that Schermerhorn was so rope they called him Mr. Roper.

So the MTA can lay the blame on the popularity of shipping, and how people were really into rope back in the day, for all these hilarious spelling and pronunciation errors.

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