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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Our “Empire”: Tradition or anachronism?

So you thought the whole Inland Northwest vs. Inland Empire thing was settled, and that the former had prevailed.

You would be wrong. Some have more or less declared they’ll stop saying “Inland Empire” when we pry their cold, dead tongues from, well, you catch my drift.

They have declared this area a Place Name Redoubt.

Which is fine, I suppose. But as The Slice has noted umpteen times, there is a decent case to be made for “Inland Northwest.”

To review:

Local desire to benefit from the cultural cachet of the word “Northwest.”

A wish to avoid confusion with the more populous “Inland Empire” east of Los Angeles.

A sense in some quarters that, as a regional nickname, the old label sounded like silly boosterism and had a whiff of snake-oil about it.

Also, as has been noted before, West Siders’ fondness for “Ingrown Empire” also played a small role.

But it’s a free country. If you wish to continue saying “Inland Empire,” you are, of course, welcome to do so.

I wonder if anyone has expressed an opinion about this on his or her tombstone?

Bird is the word: “Our Otis Orchards neighborhood has a fair amount of turkeys,” wrote Robin Oos last week.

The big birds can be a bit of a nuisance, said Robin. But Robin and others have learned to put up with them.

“That is until this morning at 6 a.m. A loud BANG woke us. We thought someone had shot our bedroom window. But a turkey had flown into the window. You can only imagine the noise.

“We saw him sitting in the yard looking a bit dazed. Almost had an early Thanksgiving dinner, but he hobbled away.”

Excuses for eating Halloween candy insanely early: “Worried my adult acne might clear up.” – Jim Christensen

“I’m checking for poison.” – Phyllis Rollins

A theory about why people need to have a TV on in waiting rooms: Some of us are afraid of being alone with our thoughts, said Sheila Barnes of Ponderay, Idaho.

A note from Slice reader John McTear (about something in last Monday’s column): “How many will recognize the first line of ‘Monster Mash’?”

You did, my friend. That’s enough for me.

Today’s Slice question: If you could cast a spell on someone or something here in the Spokane area, what would it be?

(Don’t say you would turn your son-in-law into a chimp. That’s been done.)

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Have you found having a last name that is also a common first name confuses more people than it should?

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