One of the little hobbies is trying to get letters to the editor, over my own name, into the Washington Post. I’ve been pretty successful. Here’s the one the Post published on Dec. 31, 2011, under the headline “‘Old’ Matters to Virginia:”
Virginia’s nickname is “The Old Dominion,” not the “Dominion State,” as Michael Leahy wrote in reporting on Newt Gingrich’s failure to get on the state’s Republican primary ballot [“Gingrich faces long odds to compete in Va. primary,” Dec. 26, news story]. Since Virginia is not actually a “dominion” (it is confusing enough that the state is, in fact, a “commonwealth”), the key is the adjective “old,” because the name is rooted in the 17th century. So is much of the state’s political culture.
It reminds me of the joke: How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb? Three – one to change the bulb and two to talk about how good the old bulb was.
Richard L. Lobb, Fairfax