I received the following e-mail from Bob Dillard of the Fort Davis Dispatch:
Andrew – my name is Bob Dillard and I’m in Fort Davis – just happened on your well done website and wanted to make a suggestion, one you might file in the big-damn-deal category. Anyway, I’ve had the Fort Davis paper for 25 years, owned the Alpine Avalanche in the 70s and 80s and the Big Bend Sentinel in the 90s and early 2000s – I’m past president of the West Texas Press Association and have served on the board of the Texas Press Association. I offer all that just as a way of saying I’m not totally full of caca. Point is I have preached for all these many years what the New York Times has dictated – Fort is a word for places like Fort Davis, Fort Hancock, Fort Stockton, Fort Worth – in the military, a lazy bunch of short-cut kind of folk, the Ft. is abbreviated and the New York Times followed suit many moons ago. Active military basis such as Ft. Bliss, Ft. Hood, Ft. Dix are all abbreviated, but forts such as Fort Davis should be spelled out. The Associated Press Stylebook has followed that lead for at least the last 50 years or so and it’s been something I’ve ranted about to school kids when I speak – as I often do here – to the highway department, etc. Anyway, you can file this as you wish, but I would be remiss if after all the time I’ve spent carrying on about this, I didn’t say something to a fellow journalist. Hope you are doing well and I look forward to meeting you some day.
As for being on the web, we have just now gotten indoor plumbing so it may be a while before I can figure out how to do some of the things you are doing so capably. Bob
I want to support Mr. Dillard in his fight for proper English. The fight starts here– I’ve corrected every incidence of ‘Ft. Davis’ throughout the website. My apologies to the people of Fort Davis– I once was blind, but now I see. I am on your side now fighting the good fight.
If anyone out there has anything to say to me on any matter, please e-mail me immediately. I am very receptive to your thoughts and comments. West Texas is a wonderful place and I want to propagate our culture and art to the world.