Rangeline vs Range Line: What's the correct spelling?

JOPLIN, Mo — It’s a debate that has existed since the naming of Joplin’s busiest thoroughfare, Rangeline Road – or is it Range Line Road? The correct spelling of the North to South route is what we’re attempting to settle, once and for all. First, it may help to know what a “Range line” or “Range lines” is.

Range lines (two words) are an important part of real estate, especially when it comes to property surveying. Without taking you through a course in “Real Estate 101,” simply put: Range lines are north-south division lines used in the government’s rectangular survey method. They are essential for dividing land into equal sections and marking the boundaries of the land. Range Line/Rangeline Road is what it’s defined as: A north-south division line, in this case a road, that runs from Interstate 44, to the city limits of Webb City.

While driving down Range Line Road, you may have noticed that the road’s spelling isn’t consistent. For example, at the intersection of 15th and Range Line, the street sign says “Rangeline,” as one word.

S Rangeline Rd is spelled as one word on the street sign at the intersection of 15th Street.

Just a few blocks away at the intersection of 20th and Range Line, it’s spelled as two words on the street sign.

S Range Line Rd is spelled as two words on the street sign at the intersection of 20th Street.

In a simple Google search of “Range Line Road,” you’ll find many examples of the Road spelled both ways. It’s no wonder there’s a debate about how it’s supposed to be spelled. On KSN’s Living Well, with Gary Bandy and Shelby Neely, the question was asked, ‘what do you think the correct spelling is?’ Here’s what some had to say in response to their question, on the KSN Living Well Facebook Page.

  • Stephanee W. — “Rangline.
  • Diane H. — “Both spellings get you there and that’s really all that matters, right? But…Range Line. Surveying term.
  • Susan S. — “Google says it’s Rangeline Rd.
  • Stacey M. — “Its a surveying term. The correct way is: Range Line – A real estate surveying term used with the rectangular survey system, range lines refer to identified lines running north-to-south across the nation, from which specific parcels of property are measured.
  • Brock H. — “It’s actually 4 words… Stay Away From Rangeline.
  • Lori S. — “RANGELINE!
  • Terri M. — “The GPS in my car calls it ‘Range-a-line’ lol.
  • James W. — “Rangeline.
  • Mary H. — “Range line shopping district.
  • David B. — “Rangeline. One word, get over it.
  • Cheryl C. — “Rangeline.
  • Barb S. — “Rangeline.
  • Jeremy S. — “Its Range Line. Two words.
  • Pat M. — “Range Line, but some businesses are Rangeline.
  • Marcy M. — “I-44 says Range Line.
  • Becky B. — “Range Line Road.

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Since our debate is about the correct spelling of this one road in Joplin, we contacted Dan Johnson, Joplin’s Public Works Director to help settle the question at hand.

“So, I prefer to spell it as one word, and the reason that I do spell it as one word is because it’s the proper name of a street or in this case, a road. Now, if you were to ask, say a property surveyor, they may prefer to spell it as two words, because that’s how it’s spelled in reference to the real estate definition of a range line,” said Johnson.

Perhaps Johnson is right, maybe the correct spelling lies with the individual.

“I would say there is no right way or wrong way to spell the road’s name. Obviously, we can’t go back in time and ask the person who named Range Line Road, what the correct spelling of that road should be,” said Johnson.

There’s one question that remains. Why is Range Line spelled differently on the street signs of several intersections?

“You know, I’m not sure why that is. Why it isn’t uniform. I would assume that over time, as the signs were made, it just depended on who it was that told the sign company how they thought it should be spelled, was how it printed out on the street sign. Different people making the sign and not talking to one another, I could see how that little mistake gets made from time to time, as intersections or traffic lights are updated and so are the signage,” said Johnson.

With no origin story to reference, Range Line Road vs. Rangeline Road may just be a debate that continues on, with no right or wrong answer – for now.

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