Friday, October 22, 2004

Naming rights

A copy editor with Florida Today, Jeff Navin, writes his ideas for renaming the Expos when they move to Washington. Most are bland (although I do like the Washington Mints).

But his note in this suggestion made me smile:
5. The Washington Corruption. Whether it's fighting corruption or creating corruption, Washington D.C. seems to be the home for it. Sports departments in newspapers around the country won't like the singular nickname since it creates the debate about using a singular or plural verb.

10 Comments:

At 12:37 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

"Mints" would grate on this copy editor and former coin collector because the actual mints have never been in Washington. We do only paper money.

But seriously, the only real contenders other than Senators appear to be Grays and Nationals. All three were the names of past D.C. teams (the Grays in the Negro Leagues).

I like the team-colors possibilities of Grays (black and gray are a tad trendy, but I don't like the red-white-and-blue cliche). Ultimately, though, I'm rooting for Nationals. Nats. And it's the National League!

I wouldn't mind Reps, though the whole "Representatives" thing would probably have to be an unspoken allusion rather than an official name.

I haven't paid attention to baseball since the rise and fall of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, but I love the prospect of a stadium turbocharging the revitalization of the blighted area just south of my house, and of being able to walk to games.

 
At 1:26 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Etaoin Shrdlu said...

Jeff didn't include one of my favorites: the Washington Bureaucrats.

As for copy editing, someone really needs to take the AP to task for its stylebook entry on team nicknames. 1) It's wrong: Always use plural verbs for team nicknames such as Jazz and Avalanche; and 2) It's so damn hard to find that you hardly know it's there.

For the record, in the few stylebooks I have, it's listed as collective nouns, under the sports section. There is a collective noun entry in the main section, but it says nothing about team nicknames.

 
At 1:26 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Etaoin Shrdlu said...

Jeff didn't include one of my favorites: the Washington Bureaucrats.

As for copy editing, someone really needs to take the AP to task for its stylebook entry on team nicknames. 1) It's wrong: Always use plural verbs for team nicknames such as Jazz and Avalanche; and 2) It's so damn hard to find that you hardly know it's there.

For the record, in the few stylebooks I have, it's listed as collective nouns, under the sports section. There is a collective noun entry in the main section, but it says nothing about team nicknames.

 
At 3:51 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

You could argue that the conventional approach is questionable, but "wrong"? I think either way sounds odd but it's best to stick with the American English convention of singular verbs with singular nouns.

 
At 4:03 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Etaoin Shrdlu said...

Sorry about the double post. And I think I stated my point unclearly. The AP entry is to always use the plural verbs, even if the noun is singular. I think that's wrong. Maybe it's just suffering through too many stories that have the family or the team "are."

 
At 4:24 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

For the record, AP says: "collective nouns Nouns that denote a unit take singular verbs and pronouns: class, committee, crowd, family, group, herd, jury, orchestra, team. However, team names such as the Jazz, the Magic, the Avalanche, take plural verbs."

I had no idea that was there. Then again, I seldom edit sports. (OK, it's no excuse.)

Also, Bill, maybe the mints could refer to delicious candy. I do love wedding mints.

I think my second favorite is the Reps, but I agree: It has to be truncated. The Nats, on the other hand, is just asking to be the Gnats.

How would a nearby stadium affect property values?

 
At 5:32 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

File this whole discussion under the "Keystone Kops" entry!

What's wrong with "Gnats"? It's cute!

Property values, I'm happy to say, have already done quite well, but this should be an extra boost. Basically we're on the southern edge of Capitol Hill, with a freeway separating us from the stadium neighborhood, which is now run-down public housing and industrial grit. The gentrification of that 'hood was already under way, but the stadium will accelerate that, and soon we will be "Capitol Hill/Waterfront."

 
At 9:09 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

Gnats are a nuisance. And they have very short lives.

So ... back to the original point: Why does it makes sense for AP to always require the team names to take plural verbs? Do papers follow this?

 
At 9:58 PM, October 22, 2004, Blogger Etaoin Shrdlu said...

Of the four papers where I worked, two do and two don't. The two that don't are the two bigger ones.

 
At 10:48 PM, October 26, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

And even if your style is "The Avalanche are ...," it would be ridiculous to say, say, "D.C. United are ..."

 

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