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The Slice

You be the editor

When determining when to tack a state identifier (“Idaho” or “Wash.”) onto the name of a town in our area, what should guide SR writers and editors?

A)  Common sense. B) Desire for clarity. C) Assumption that readers don't know anything about the Inland Northwest. D) Commitment to edit the paper for the three people who moved here half an hour ago. E) Desire to make those living in communities requiring state identifiers feel that the people producing the newspaper regard them as dwelling in distant hinterlands. F) Desire to avoid that first step on the slippery slope of giving readers an ounce of credit. G) Want to avoid confusion with Metaline Falls, Idaho. H) Obedience to the sacred style book, which dictates that while sports stories do not have to explain the meaning of “home run” every time, utter ignorance should be assumed in all other instances. I) A desire to make sure a columnist does not achieve a conversational tone. J) Recognition that most SR readers are lifelong shut-ins who have never ventured out to explore our beautiful area. K) Never pass up an opportunity to sound stilted. L) Add the state identifier in the spirit of offering a friendly reminder. M) Treat it as a geographic stigmata. N) Just be sure to do it the way we've always done it. O) Other.   

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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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