Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 09:30:14 -0800


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?

Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR

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.