Greetings from Midtown on this cold morning, after a night of celebrating the New Year. Midtown is always a place to be on New Years Eve you know – everything from parties to nightlife to fireworks smuggled from Alabama.
Anyhow, how peculiar it is that some people do not spell Midtown correctly! Somehow a notion runs rampant that Midtown, such major component in the vitality of Atlanta, should not be spelled with a capital M like any other proper place name. I cringe every time I see Midtown spelled with a small m. We wouldn’t even spell an insignificant place like Yeehaw Junction (Florida) with a small “y” would we?
Maybe this silly practice comes from New Yorkes, who often refer to “midtown” Manhattan with a small “m” to describe a loosely defined area comprising several distinct neighborhoods. Midtown, as in Midtown Atlanta, comprises only one distinct Neighborhood – Midtown.
Perhaps this habit comes from the use of the word “downtown,” which for many suburbanites, “downtown” means almost everything inside city limits. They misuse this term synonymously with “intown,” a generic term encompassing several neighborhoods close to the city core. But even those terms should probably be spelled with captials. While they are geographic descriptions, they do refer to a composition of distinct neighborhoods.
Another interesting orthographical peculiarity involves the hyphen – “Mid-Town.” Perhaps those who write the name of the neighborhood we call home in that manner feel that Midtown really is the middle of town – where it’s really happening. Maybe Midtown is so unique that they don’t know what to do about it. That should come as no surprise because our neighborhood is home to many cultural amenities and events like the Dogwood Festival and Gay Pride (well, when it really is where it’s supposed to be), and to an endless list of things happening in Midtown.
Most interestingly, these kinds of orthographical peculiarities reflect something very important about Midtown: it is such a unique place. Midtown is not only a real place – a dynamic and diverse one for that matter – that we can easily locate on a map, but this vibrant neighborhood also has a special place in our hearts. So let’s insist on its proper spelling…
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