I’m reading a book about the filling in of the Back Bay (not that really popular book, but another one) and it occurred to me that the “correct” ways of saying things in Boston are going out of style.
For example, Tremont Street. It’s pronounced, “tre mont” not “tree mont”, you know. And, another thing, the accent is on the first syllable, not the second. Not like “Lamont”.
Also, it’s pronounced, “Fan uuul” hall, not “Fan u ill” hall (although some actually call it “Fanil” hall, which is even more accurate).
Purists know of a wonderful department store, now gone, named “Feh leens”, not “Fiiii leens”. They may have even met or or both of the Filene’s brothers.
I’m stumped though, as to what to call the neighborhood around Commonwealth Avenue. I always called it “THE Back Bay”, not “Back Bay”, as in, “Mopsy lives in the Back Bay,” not, “Mopsy lives in Back Bay.” Sounded right.
Now, however, I think a true snob would say it this way: “After enjoying a stroll along the Esplanade, we retired to the Algonquin Club, on the Back Bay.”
ON the Back Bay? Sure. It’s landfill (or, to the purist, “in”-fill). The Back Bay is the stagnant pool of water on which all those million-dollar homes were built.
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