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Reader Letters

An Ian, Not an An

I regret to inform you that residents of Alabama go by the appellation “Alabamians,” not “Alabamans.” I thought this was pretty silly when I moved here, but ‘tis so. That should help solidify the blue southeast on your map.

However, I have another quibble: listing Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, California, and Hawaii with Florida, Alabama and the like, which distort their names to end -ian. California is doing nothing different from Nevada: simply adding an “n.” One might just as well put Hawaii in its own category of “-iian” states. But no, Hawaii is following the lead of Utah and others, just adding an “-an.”

With that off my back, I’d like to address the issue of residents of cities. While there may be many problematic cities with regard to naming the inhabitants, towns that end in “-ville” or “-city” should be clear. Whatever they may have to say about it, a resident of Atlantic City should be an Atlantic Citizen, and a person living in Jacksonville, Fla., is a Jacksonvillager.

David Anderson
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