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This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Maybe we could say ‘Upper Spudlandia’

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?).”

Tweaking the rum ration: The Slice’s recent mention of rum balls reminded Florence Young of a story.

Back in 1979, her husband, Harold, served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. It was heading home to San Diego after a six-month deployment. But in response to the seizing of the U.S. embassy in Iran, the ship was turned around and headed for the Indian Ocean.

“Supply lines were few but the Navy guaranteed delivery of one Christmas package per sailor if it was ready to go in five days,” wrote Florence.

Most families assembled a care package with items such as cookies, books, puzzles, et cetera.

But Florence sent rum balls. And as these treats might be in transit for several weeks, she decided to more than double the rum in the recipe to keep them moist.

“The opening of the package in an office on board ship resulted in a virtual cloud of rum vapor enveloping the crew members.”

It was agreed that anyone eating a rum ball had to wait an hour before going on watch, lest he be accused of being drunk on duty.

Today’s Slice question: Did your parents help with your homework?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Some people just aren’t good at giving directions.

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