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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Hey, pal, it’s North Idaho. Period.

Rick Hosmer, creative director at a Spokane design firm, weighed in on North Idaho vs. northern Idaho.

“Every time. And I mean EVERY time I read ‘North Idaho’ in The Spokesman-Review or hear it spoken on TV news (Q6 is the typical offender), it makes me cringe.

“Over the years I have even seen the S-R defend this practice, calling it ‘vernacular’ usage. Get this: Saying ‘North Idaho’ is only in the vernacular because news entities like The Spokesman-Review and Q6 refuse to follow the proper ‘northern Idaho’ usage!

“North Dakota. YES! North Carolina. YES! But North Idaho? No! Grab an atlas. What state is North Idaho? Is there a corresponding South Idaho to go with it?

“News media types don’t seem to have a problem saying ‘Northern California,’ or ‘northern Alberta,’ or even ‘northern North Dakota.’ What is so difficult about using ‘northern Idaho’?

“I predict that if you and your cronies were to begin properly using ‘northern Idaho’ as the geographical descriptor of Idaho north of the Clearwater River, within three years everyone would follow suit. It would become the vernacular you all seem so interested in following.”

Rick signed his email, “An eastern Washington reader (or should that be East Washington?).”


D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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