National Geographic : 1944 Jul
THE GEOGRAPHIC'S New Map of Germany and Its Approaches operations and invasion planning. Now it .is summarized on this new map so that mem bers can follow the events of the invasion. Newspapers Adopt NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Spelling of Place Names On April 8, 1944, the three principal Ameri can press associations-the Associated Press, the United Press, and the International News Service-announced that they would follow the National Geographic Society's spelling of place names in reporting the war. One or more of these press associations serve prac tically all of the more than 1,800 daily news papers in the United States (page 69). Their ruling means that all newspaper read ers will hereafter be relieved of the confusion of varied and haphazard spelling which often made the places mentioned in dispatches diffi cult to identify. Thousands of places lead double lives in the atlas. Many cities and other places in Euro pean news recently have been spelled two ways, and one spelling gives little clue to the other. Examples: Bratislava (Slovakia) also is Pressburg; Brno (Moravia) is Briinn; Bydgoszcz (Po land) is Bromberg; Cheb (Bohemia) is Eger; Cern.uti (Romania) is Czernowitz; Ceske Budejovice (Bohemia) is Budweis; Kassa (Hungary) is Kosice; Lw6w (Poland) is Lemberg; Plzefi (Bohemia) is Pilsen; Poznani (Poland) is Posen; Romania is Roumania, Rumania; Sopron (Hungary) is Odenburg; Tczew (Poland) is Dirschau; and Torun (Poland) also is Thorn. Recently names of Russian towns have been spelled as many as four different ways in dif ferent papers on the same day. Also, some newspapers have spelled the same names dif ferently on successive days.* The new procedure applies not only to Eu rope but also to the Pacific war zone and to all other action areas. The formal action of the three press associa tions has been followed by requests from hun dreds of newspapers for your Society's maps and indexes so that in their editorial and news columns they may follow the same style as that used in the press-association dispatches. GEOGRAPHIC Maps Use Official National Spellings of Place Names Press associations and newspapers adopted National Geographic Society nomenclature be cause your Society long ago pioneered in adopting the policy of spelling names of cities and towns and also rivers, seas, mountains, harbors, etc., the way they are spelled officially in the countries where they are located.t Intense national feeling over place names grew out of the new sovereignties and bound aries created after World War I. The Polish people, for example, insisted that their capital be called by their own name for that ancient city, Warszawa, instead of by the anglicized Warsaw; Estonians demanded Tal linn instead of Reval; the Russians, Lenin grad instead of St. Petersburg or Petrograd. Americans would be amazed to receive mail from foreign countries addressed to Nueva York, Filadelfia, Salzseestadt, or Waszyngton, rather than to New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, or Washington. On the 26 National Geographic Society maps of the continents and oceans appear 60,000 different place names. Members who have kept these maps and their indexes and the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE arti cles describing the maps have accumulated the world's most up-to-date atlas and gazetteer. Newspapers turn to their files of The So ciety's maps and indexes because in them are found the great majority of names mentioned in dispatches. Press associations made 78 exceptions to the general rule of following official spellings of foreign place names. These exceptions are substantially those which the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE itself makes in its own text pages. In these cases the official spelling is shown on National Geographic Society maps and the anglicized and other well-known spellings are indicated in parentheses. The exceptions are made because the anglicized names have wide acceptance through popular usage, and therefore are more familiar to Americans than the official designations of these places in their own countries. However, in addressing letters even to these places which are excepted, the official national spellings should be used. The place names which will be anglicized, and their official designations which still are useful in consulting many foreign maps and for addressing mail, follow: Algiers, Alger; Antioch, Antakya; Antwerp, Ant werpen; Athens, Athenai; Sea of Azov, Azovskoe More; Belgrade, Beograd; Black Forest, Schwarz Wald; Blue Nile River, El Bahr el Azraq; Bonin Islands, Ogasawara Gunto; Bosporus, Karadeniz Bogazi; Brest Litovsk, BrzeSc nad Bugiem; Bruns wick, Braunschweig; Brussels, Bruxelles; Bucharest, Bucuresti; Cape Horn, Cabo de Hornos; Caucasus * For an explanation of the National Geographic Society's system of spelling the Russian, Turkish, Czech, etc., names, consult The Society's Index to the 1929 edition of its "New Map of Europe and the Near East." t See "Society's New Map of Europe," by Gilbert Grosvenor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, Decem ber, 1929.