CRF Blog

Let’s just call it L.A.

by Bill Hayes

In Devil of a time with City of Angels’ name, Steve Harvey reviews the history, and trouble, that people have had, and still have, in deciding what the proper English pronunciation of Los Angeles should be.

In the early 1900s, The Times advocated the Spanish version, carrying a box by its editorial page masthead that proclaimed the way to say Los Angeles was Loce AHNG-hayl-ais.

English speakers who found that difficult could only be thankful that the city had shortened its original name, which some scholars believe was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula.

The Times’ campaign aside, the United States Board on Geographic Names decreed in 1934 that the name should be Anglicized to Loss AN-ju-less.

The Times said the federal agency’s decree made the city “sound like some brand of fruit preserve.” [more]