I've been watching the ruckus surrounding
What I can't understand is why Ms. Whiting is trying to control the use of the word "hon" through her trademarks and restrictions, including the one prohibiting merchants from selling cat's-eye sunglasses during Honfest 2011. This strikes me as an impossible task and reminds me of
As everyone knows, the Grinch believes that he can steal Christmas from the residents of Whoville by removing the physical trappings associated with the holiday — the presents, the trees, the decorations, and, of course, the roast beast. But the residents of Whoville are not so easily defeated. They still wake up
In much the same way, the word "hon" exists as an immaterial object and can't be forced into an association with cat's-eye sunglasses or even the women who wore them. Whatever the word may have represented in the past, "hon" has now become the type of quirky endearment that is one of the unique aspects of Baltimore. To me, the beauty of the word is that it can apply to everyone. It's an all purpose word that isn't bound to a particular gender or race, as evidenced by the greeting that waitresses will give you as they come to the table to take orders: "What'll it be, hon?"
Everyone is a hon, whether you are young or old, male or female, a longtime Baltimorean or an outsider. This point is underscored by one of my favorite local icons, the Hon Man, who during the mid-1990s, made it his personal crusade to amend the "Welcome to Baltimore" sign on the Baltimore