Sunday, May 03, 2009

Why we have editors

"You Haven't Lived Here Until ..." is a regular feature in the Sunday fishwrap, and today's topic is local place names (mostly resulting from the collision of French and English). If you wonder about stuff like why "St. Antoine" sounds like a planet in "Star Wars," or how to pronounce "Livernois,"* you can see why it's not just fun but Fun With A Purpose.

Alas, we have a little disagreement between map and text on how to say "Gratiot." The text says GRASH-it, and the map ... aw, you peeked! GRA-shit.

Add another to the Why We Have Editors list. It's nice to be right (and using both spellings is a way to cover that base**), but it's even nicer to be right and consistent, and it's almost as nice to look at the text with the eye of an adolescent. Readers have dirty minds. Editors should too.

* Neither of these is in the story, unfortunately.
** Language Czarina, who is a native speaker, is fine with GRASH-it.


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