It was a win for civic duty, a loss for civic charm. The hand-painted "Hon!" has been edited out of the "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!" sign on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, thanks to the diligent work of the state Highway Administration.
The beloved bit of Bawlamerese wasn't supposed to be there to begin with, but was added clandestinely by a "poet with a paintbrush," as Sun columnist Michael Olesker put it.
But city and state officials called it graffiti and said it was most unwelcome to Baltimore.
"We always remove graffiti as soon as possible," said Russell Ulrich, spokesman for the state highway administration. "If we leave it up there, it will just encourage more."