Where I live
If you ask, I will tell you that I live in Hamilton, and most Baltimoreans will understand that I mean an ill-defined area in the northeast quadrant of the city along Harford Road. North of Lauraville, which has more cachet.*
But the official map of neighborhoods produced by the city’s Department of Planning does not list any place called “Hamilton.” It says that I live in something called “Harford-Echodale-Perring Parkway.” (It lists names for a number of other neighborhoods that I suspect would come as a surprise to the people who live there.) And so The Sun, in its reverence for official documents, however meaningless, has referred to “Harford-Echodale-Perring Parkway” for years.
That should be over, because “Harford-Echodale-Perring Parkway” is now officially — you hear that, officially — “Hamilton Hills.” There is an actual sign proclaiming that identity at the intersection of Perring Parkway and Woodbourne, the dedication of which was graced some weeks back by the august presence of the Hon. Robert W. Curran of the City Council. So there.
Now if I can just get anyone at The Sun to read this.
Of course, Hamilton Hills is merely where my physical presence can be found. In the blogosphere, I have many neighbors who share an interest in language and editing and other obscure matters. I should mention a couple of new ones.
Jed Waverly of Providence, Rhode Island, is author of The Penultimate Word. He writes reflectively in retirement, for his own amusement, and I think you will find his blog worth a look.
Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor, a book that you ought to own if you have any pretension to being a serious editor, has set up a blog by the same name. She also writes the monthly question-and-answer feature for The Chicago Manual of Style. Ms. Saller is the editor that everyone deserves to have: graceful, informed, sensible, practical, and wry.
Nice to have them in the neighborhood.
*Cachet, “ka-SHAY,” from the French, meaning prestige. Not cache, pronounced “cash,” meaning to store something safely or the goods and provisions so stored. If I see you using cache for cachet ONE MORE TIME, there are going to be some serious consequences. Do you hear me? Don’t make me come back there.