Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A day for cleaning up loose ends.

 First: a shout out to Em in Madrid, Spain

I heard from a young, teacher of English working in Spain who had her own pet peeves about proper pronunciation. She commented on my post "On pore and poor pronunciation." I'd like her to know that I moved her comments on to Paul Berton, the editor-in-chief of The London Free Press. It was his piece that inspired my post and I thought he would enjoy reading Em's remarks.

Second: a link to Tori Amos via one of my favourite blogs

Years ago our daughter was quite the fan of the singer Tori Amos. Because of this, I was quite interested in meeting Amos when I had the chance. She was in London to appear at Centennial Hall and a reporter and I were assigned to do an afternoon interview. She was an impressive lady.

I got tickets to the performance for my wife and me. Amos was incredible. Our daughter was jealous but better to miss a concert than attend it with one's parents. Ugh!

Now, Amos has a Christmas album, uh, CD, on the shelves. If you'd like to hear a song from the album and another song to introduce yourself to this cool lady please check out the post, Tori Amos: Midwinter Graces, on Elle Hermansen's blog. (My nephew has checked out Hermansen's blog and given it a thumbs up, too.)

Third: a shout-out to Houghton Lake

Here is a picture that I thought you would enjoy. Note the little outfit.

And lastly, some thoughts on names and places and how newspapers decide what placename to assign an article. I'm using the Ford Motor Company, St. Thomas Assembly Plant, as my focus. The plant is not in St. Thomas and soon it will not assemble anything.

Ford Assembly Plant in Talbotville

It is interesting that Southminster Bourne, which (I believe) forms the southern London boundary, is the road that runs right beside the St. Thomas Assembly Plant, the plant's official name. One can toss a stone from the plant property to London. Yet, stories about the plant, which The London Free Press once insisted on calling the Ford assembly plant at Talbotville, are now given the placeline of St. Thomas - a community much farther away from the plant than London.

I recall going to the plant and shooting pictures of workers, many of whom lived in London. I put the correct name of the plant on my cutlines just to see the reaction. I was told one reason we located the plant using Talbotville was that the plant was not in St. Thomas, many of workers did not live in St. Thomas, and a lot of the spin-off benefits of the plant did not go directly to St. Thomas. Thus, the correct name was confusing to readers. All mention of St. Thomas was removed from my cutlines. But, those were arguments from a long time ago.

(Does the fact that the plant is now an orphan and will close in the near future enter into this? Do Londoners no longer want to be associated with the plant now that it carries negative economic vibes?)

It's just interesting.



  1. I believe Ford policy in the 60's was to name facilities after the nearest sizable community when considered from a North American wide perspective. St Thomas was 'closest' city in the 60's. Recent amalgamations/border rearrangements have moved London closer. If it was built in the 90's it would have been the London assembly plant. Talbotville was a colloquialism. If I'm wrong no free car :) Old South Steve

  2. A more correct way of locating the plant would be to refer to it as "Ford's St. Thomas assembly plant near Talbotville." However, if I recall correctly, St. Thomas municipal politicians managed to persuade The Free Press years ago to refer to the plant as the "St. Thomas assembly plant" and that was that. Historically, The Free Press hasn't been known to take strong initiatives on style. For a while, it used such placelines as "Westminster," "Clearwater" and "Chatham-Kent" (the latter even to refer to the city of Chatham). No strong editorship on this point.

  3. Oh wow! You met Tori?! Amazing! That would be a life long dream come true for me. I hope she stops over in London to play, some time again - or better yet; carols her new album at my doorstep :D