Overlooking Principle in the Interest of Justice

Guess who recently received a jury duty summons—that’s right, the Graceful Grammarian did.

As I was preparing to return my questionnaire and some supporting documents to Jury Management in Essex County, New Jersey, something on the pre-printed return address on the questionnaire caught my eye: the spelling of the name of our county courthouse. In Essex County, the courthouse is named “Veterans Courthouse.” This is just common knowledge. On the questionnaire, though, the name of the courthouse is “Veteran’s Courthouse.”

Veterans Courthouse 1

The courthouse of which veteran? I don’t know! This prompted me to do some research.

The first thing that turned up in my search was this article on NJ.com.

Veterans Courthouse 2

Note that the title of the article refers to the edifice in question as “Veteran’s Courthouse,” while the first sentence of the article mentions “Veterans Courthouse.” It appears that a major news outlet is uncertain about the spelling of the name. Is it really so difficult?

Further research uncovered the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office website, the main page of which is pictured below.

Veterans Courthouse 5

Now, that’s more like it. “Veterans Courthouse” is the location of this office. See? I knew it!

I still wasn’t satisfied, so I turned to Google itself. I did a Google Maps search, and I found this.

Veterans Courthouse 4

What Google says and common wisdom corroborates must be true.

Either way, I wanted to be absolutely certain that my questionnaire and supporting documents arrived in the correct location. So, I held my nose and looked the other way (figuratively, of course) while I addressed the envelope.

Veterans Courthouse 3

Practical concerns outweighed principles this time. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen often.

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