Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » German apparently is OK, but what about Spanish?


For our Monday story on the possibility of school uniforms, a creative copy editor came up with the headline of "What's in, what's verboten."

As an editor, my first reaction when picking up the front page in the morning was, "I hope we spelled verboten right." My next reaction: "I wonder if we'll get any calls about using a German word in a front-page headline.

When former President Bill Clinton came to Victoria in February, we used the headline, "Bienvenidos, Bill." The reaction against using a Spanish word in a front-page headline prompted me to write a post explaining our reasoning.

So far, 28 have people have commented online about Monday's article, and not one has mentioned the German word. All are discussing the pros and cons of the toughening the dress code. No one has called or written a letter to the editor about straying from English.

What do you think about this difference in our readers' reaction? To be fair, I would hardly describe the reaction about "bienvenidos" as an outpouring -- essentially we received a letter to the editor and a few calls and Web comments.