Mighty Red Pen

November 13, 2008

Do you know the way . . .

Filed under: Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 6:55 pm
Tags: ,

to Guantánamo Bay?


In a week where some editorial oopsies were committed under MRP’s watch (as much as it pains me to admit it), it’s nice to know it happens to everyone, even the Huffington Post.


Bonus MRP moment: Guantánamo Bay or Guantanamo Bay? In Spanish, it has an accent, in English, not so much. I once worked with an editor who insisted that we should insert the accent because it’s correct in Spanish. On the other hand, here is another view. What would you do?



  1. If I were on a Mac, I would probably insert the accent. On Windows, it’s not nearly as straightforward, so I would probably pass.

    Comment by tk. — November 14, 2008 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  2. The key for me is to determine if it is a Spanish word that we are using for some reason or if it is a Spanish word that has become an English word by way of adoption. In this case, there being no English word otherwise, I would argue that Guantanamo is English for the Spanish Guantánamo.

    That is, unless you wish to argue that Gitmo is the English place-name.

    Comment by David — November 17, 2008 @ 10:21 am | Reply

  3. I wouldn’t use an accent, for much the same reason that David suggests. On my publication, we drop accents wherever we can get away with it.

    Comment by JD — November 26, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  4. I would leave out the accent. It’s necessary in Spanish to denote correct pronounciation, but not in English. If we used the actual Spanish name (Bahía de Guantánamo), I’d use the accents, but clearly Guantanamo Bay is the English translation of the Spanish name.

    Comment by Danielle Buczek — November 28, 2008 @ 10:05 am | Reply

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