Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 09:30:14 -0800
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: Looking for some useful arguments
It seems to me fairly obvious that "the Ozarks" originated as shorthand
for "the Ozark Mountains" in a very common English pattern. Other
examples are abundant: Mr. and Mrs. Smith or the Smith Family -- the
Smiths; Jockey briefs -- Jockeys (cf. Dave Barry's column of Sunday,
3/26/95); nylon stockings -- nylons; etc. What would the copyeditors who
are irritated by "Ozark Mountains" suggest? "Ozarks Mountains"? How
about "Appalachians Mountains" and "Catskills Mountains"?! And if we can
say "The Rockies" even though we wouldn't be able to pluralize the
adjective "rocky," why wouldn't it happen there?
On Sat, 25 Feb 1995, Donald M. Lance wrote:
A copyediting "thing" in these parts is the insistence of some (non-native,
say natives) editors who isnist that the modifier must be OZARKS, not
OZARK. E.g., "Ozarks culture," not "Ozark culture." These editors
are irritated by phrases like "Ozark Mountains," local usage notwithstanding.
They argue that the region is "the Ozarks," so the -s should be retained.
Phone-book entries indicate that the names of older businesses will have
forms like "Ozark Plumbing Company," whereas more-recently-founded
companies will use "Ozarks" in the name. I think there's a real trend
here, not just fussiness of editors, though the editors are generally
more attuned to their own attitudes than to what the general public is doing.
On occasional hand-lettered signs one finds "Ozark's Plumbing," and I
remember seeing the apostrophed form in a phone book in SW Mo.
Is something similar going on in other areas --e.g., Adirondaks, Poconos?
Wouldn't happen with "Rocky," so this isn't a simple little item.