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Dropping the French

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The Aug. 29 column mentioned that St. Louis is sometimes referred to as St. Looey, as in the song "Meet me in St. Looey, Looey." I asked the Times' Brian Chilson, a former resident of the Gateway City, if the people who live there call it St. Looey. He said no.

The reasoning, Brian said, is that if one uses the French pronunciation of Louis, as the French explorers who named the city would have done, one should also use the French pronunciation for the rest of the name, and refer to the city as "San Looey."

Also, I'm pretty sure that Stan Musial pronounced the s in Louis, and no St. Louisan would question Musial's usage.

Speaking of baseballers, the best name I've seen this season is Yonder Alonso, of the San Diego Padres. I imagine him pursuing a fly ball in the outfield, the fans directing him, yelling "Yonder, Alonso."

Journalism is changing, we all know, apparently to the point that even journalists don't know journalistic terminology anymore. This is from Yahoo! News on-line:

"After months of negative attacks from his Democratic opponents, Mitt Romney is trying to turn his resume at Bain Capital into a positive for his campaign, arguing in a new Wall Street Journal editorial the experience he gained there would help him in the White House."

While laymen may refer to any opinionated writing as an editorial, people in the business are expected to know better. An editorial is written by a member of the newspaper staff, but it supposedly expresses the position of the newspaper as an institution, and it is, therefore, unsigned. Signed columns, the kind of thing Romney wrote, are not editorials, whether or not they're written by somebody who works for the paper. The Huffington Post referred to Romney's piece as an "op-ed," that is, a column appearing on the page opposite the editorial page, and the on-line Wall Street Journal called it an "article." Both are correct.

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