Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fountain vs. Fontaine

Things bother me, you all know that by now. Some things more than others, but they still irk me to the point that I begin to ask people for clarification. Take for instance the spelling of the word "fountain." It's correct spelling involves the letter "F" followed by o u n t a i n. That's "fountain." A fountain looks like this...

A fountain can also look like the one I worked on at the Bellagio Casino in Vegas....

Now that we have correctly identified the word "fountain," let's press on.

There is a town here in central Ohio, and it is called Bellefontaine. A brief history of the town goes like this. For centuries many historic American Indians called the Logan county area home. Many tribes established this area as their traditional homelands. The Shawnee Nation dominated this area during the 1760’s and 1770’s, and built the village originally called Blue Jacket’s Town. The native populations had been working the English and French colonial governments against each other for years, and as such many natives spoke some French....hence the name Bellefontaine.

The summer of 1837, the Mad River & lake Erie Railroad Company completed the first railroad in Bellefontaine. Bellefontaine became a major railroad town in the 1890’s when the Big Four (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and St. Louis) made it one of their main terminals and built its largest roundhouse between New York and St. Louis in Bellefontaine.

So, knowing that the name of the town is derived from the French influence on the native population....and knowing that the spelling of the town's name is NOT that of the word "fountain," why is it pronounced by everyone as Belle-FOUNTAIN??????
Not a single person has an explanation, good or bad. Is it the same thing as calling Brett Favre Brett FARVE??

Seriously, does that say "FARVE?" No. Not now, not ever. No.
What is that? Can we not pronounce it correctly and thus must bastardize it to the point that it is unrecognizeable? Please help me to help you. When discussing the town of Bellefontaine, call it Bellefontaine. Let's all make life a little easier for everyone, ok? And it's F-A-V-R-E. Favre. SAY IT. That's better....


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