A Word from Werlein’s
Re: “Werlein’s for a Song” by Carolyn Kolb. “Chronicles of Recent History” column. April 2010 issue.
I enjoyed Ms. Carolyn Kolb’s article “Werlein’s for a Song” from the April 2010 issue. However, I must make a correction. I called that time and temperature number quite often when I was a kid and the third instrument mentioned by the deep male voice was an organ, not a ukulele.
The Names on the Menu
Re: “They Are ‘Poor’ Not ‘Po’’’ Boys,” Inside column, by Errol Laborde. July
I’m a 24K word nerd. I despise the expression “po-boy.” Written or spoken it never should have come to that. Now about muffuletta, does anyone say it with an “E”? All I hear is “muffulotta.” People look at the word and without thinking say “lotta.” How that came to be is a minor mystery. Do you ever hear “muffuletta?”
Ed. response: Our rule here at the magazine is to use Central Grocery’s spelling, “muffuletta.” The Grocery is where the sandwich, which was invented in New Orleans, not Italy, was popularized. You are right: somehow the last syllable got changed in spoken language to “lotta.” Though it may be a losing battle, we say, lets do it right: it’s “letta” after “muffu” and that boy is “poor” not “po’.”
Regarding Po’ Boy versus Poor Boy, I’m not sure your logic follows. The Martin Brothers did indeed print ‘poor,’ on their signs but the way New Orleanians pronounce things often has not stacked up with the way words are spelled. Think the streets Calliope, Burgundy, Chartres, et al.
However I would like to take this occasion to declare war on the hideously cutesy – and dead wrong – phonetic appellation: N’Awluns. Locals may pronounce the ‘Orleans’ portion differently (yes, “aw’luns,” but also “or-luns,” “or-li-uns,” even “or-leens”), but we all say ‘New,’ not ‘Naw,” as the designation above would imply. Anyone who has ever heard a tourist try to sound this out knows what I’m talking about.
It has gotten so bad that Dr. John – one of our city’s greatest ambassadors – allowed this travesty to appear in one of his album titles. To keep my illusions, I’ll choose to blame it on the record company.
Ed. response: We agree fully with your commentary about “N’Awluns” or variations thereof; we don’t agree that most New Orleanians say “Po’” rather that “Poor” in the same way that some streets have a unique pronunciation. However, that may have changed as generation of New Orleanians see the sandwich misnamed on menus.
A “Chronicles” column (June 2010 issue) on women’s housing mistakenly placed the Hermann-Grima House at 820 Conti St. It has always been located at 820 St. Louis St. The historic home is currently decorated for the summer season. Information about special summer programs for young people is available by calling the Herman-Grima/Gallier Historic House at 525-5661.
A Word from Werlein’s