Sunday column preview

In Sunday’s column, readers sound off on two recent column topics: TV converter boxes and Santa Ana winds. Some folks can’t get their TV situation worked out, and several old-timers insist the winds are called Santana.

I suggest in print that perhaps the winds are called Maria, which led to some back-and-forth with my editors over whether the spelling should be Maria or Mariah.

I wasn’t much help, doing some research and informing an editor that the character in “West Side Story” is named Maria. This must have seemed like a non-sequitur, given that the song, he told me, is from “Paint Your Wagon.” Fresh research was conducted. Virtually every Internet source gives the song title as “They Call the Wind Maria.” Even though it’s pronounced like Mariah. I’m pretty sure I’ve always seen the title as “…Maria,” despite not knowing what musical it’s from.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I printed much reader response, but it’s worth doing on occasion. I have responses about my St. Louis column too but couldn’t squeeze everything into one column. So, those will wait for next week.

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  • Ramona

    Santa Ana winds are referred to by some as santanas because of the Spanish language derivation.

    When one encounters congruent vowels while speaking Spanish, one vowel is ignored thus scrunching the two words together and eliminating the necessity for that slight pause between words.*

    Mi hija = mija
    la estrella = lastrella
    mi esposo = misposo

    Scrunching – kinda like you’re having to do with your column these days.

    * At least that’s what our Spanish teachers taught us in high school. Since the two teachers that I had were non-native Spanish speakers, we all could have been lied to.

    [Joe Blackstock says the same thing about the scrunchin', so it's probably true. -- DA]

  • Fred Henderson

    Hi David:

    Ever since I grew up in Pomona in the ’40s, we called them Santana winds. Santa Ana was easier to pronounce and associate with the town in Orange County and the range of mountains going thru the county. Early Spanish settlers referred to them as ‘vientos de Satan’ or the ‘winds of Satan.’

    Fred Henderson
    Everett, WA