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If you're pals with Patrick

Tomorrow being the Feast of St. Patrick, you will want to refer to it — if you go in for that sort of jocular informality — with the Irish diminutive for Patrick, St. Paddy’s Day. If you should, as some invariably do, refer to St. Patty’s Day, you would be suggesting something about the saint not supported by the skimpy historical record.

Slainte.*

* Pronounced SLAWN-cha.

 

 

Posted by John McIntyre at 7:40 AM | | Comments (1)
        

Comments

Thank goodness for you, John McIntyre. I was wondering about this as I've always taken Patty to be a woman, Paddy a man, and was quite surprised that here in Boston -- of all places -- many (including the Boston Globe) didn't seem to realize the difference.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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