Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

I think we’re getting the hang of this

April 12, 2001

When we heard the news, we were up for the challenge.

The city formerly known as DeSoto would now be referred to as De Soto, with a space between the "e" and "S"

For those who may have missed the story in last week's newspaper, it seems the city had been misspelling its name for the past 20 or so years.

City Clerk Lana McPherson led the crusade to right the longtime wrong.

Following several weeks of research on the issue, McPherson said she found dozens of federal documents dating back to the 1800s that include the space in the city's name. The space also appears on early ordinances filed by the city with the Kansas Secretary of State's office.

She took the information to Mayor Steve Prudden, who made the official change as one of his final acts before leaving office next month.

The change in spelling will be reflected on the new city hall building and on the city letterhead.

Because the paper is named for the city, we felt obliged to honor the change as well.

A simple space shouldn't present too much of a problem, we thought.

The first thing we did was change the flag on the front page and all permanent references to the city's name throughout the newspaper. That was the easy part. A few clicks of the space bar and we were in compliance with the city.

The more difficult part, we knew, would be changing our habits. A year's worth of conditioning would have to be wiped away. We would have to make a conscious effort to include the space, until it became second nature to us.

Considering the number of times the name De Soto appears in the paper each week, I must de clare, we have handled it well.

Once we de cided to make the change, we never looked back. We de briefed the staff and de fined our goal.

We knew the change in procedure would de finitely present a challenge, but we were not to be de feated.

I hope as you read this week's newspaper, you will de termine that we have made the transition with much de corum. We may have a slip up here and there, but we are de dicated to making a smooth transition.

As the weeks go by and our reporters become de conditioned, you will not be able to de ny that the number of errors are de creasing.

We hope you will be de lighted to learn that we have de dicated ourselves to de livering to you a newspaper that reflects and respects the de cisions of De Soto's de dicated city officials.

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