Question of the Month: May's question asked readers to...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

May 26, 2001

Question of the Month:

May's question asked readers to suggest new slogans for Baltimore, and there was no shortage of ideas. More than 90 letters flowed into our offices, and a good many of your responses appear on this page and today's editorial page.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Mayor Martin O'Malley also asked readers of his newsletter, "Taking Care of Business," to propose a new slogan for The Sun. He got quite a response, too - and many of the slogans he received will be featured in the Arts & Society section of tomorrow's newspaper.

A slogan for the city

If the motto "The City That Reads" was improbable, "The Greatest City in America" is so patently false as to be preposterous.

In response, I offer these slogans:

"Baltimore - Go Recycle Somewhere Else."

Baltimore - Decay is OK"

Also, let me propose a positive slogan, but one that doesn't elicit the gag reflex: "Baltimore - It's Better Than You Think."

Steven Loew, Baltimore

For a new city motto, I suggest "Baltimore: The Incredible Shrinking City."

The first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem.

Douglas E. McNeil, Baltimore

"The City that Reads." "The Greatest City in America." I think anyone who has read these slogans knows them for what they are, an outright lie, just like every other political slogan or promise.

How about something with a grain of truth, such as "Baltimore, Greatest City on the Chesapeake Bay" or "Baltimore, We Think Reading Might Be Important"

Or I would like to see something inspirational, yet realistic, such as "Show Your Pride in Baltimore."

But, please, let's not have another glaring, insulting lie.

Reece Guth, Parkton

There is but one great proclamation to adorn our bus benches: "Baltimore - The City That Reads That It Is The Greatest City in America."

Rick Shelley, Baltimore

I'm a senior and a proud grandmother and great-grandmother. As I look around Baltimore, I am amazed at how many neighborhoods have been revitalized and the affordable housing available to low-income families.

I can only conclude that Baltimore is a city that cares about the people. Therefore, the slogan should be: "Baltimore: A City for the People."

Margie D. Moore, Baltimore

"Baltimore - A City of Neighborhoods"

The words on the benches should be true and worthy. As citizens we know, as we struggle with library and education issues, that we are not "The City That Reads." And we are not "The Greatest City in America."

But we are a city of neighborhoods. This connects us to the city in a special way. We identify with and are loyal to our neighborhoods.

Indeed, when speaking with non-Baltimoreans, I often wind up saying, "We have real neighborhoods."

Pat Lane, Baltimore

The perfect slogan for Baltimore is this: "The City of Weeds."

If you don't believe me, just drive through any Baltimore neighborhood.

Miriam Fine, Baltimore

The slogan "The Greatest City in America," is a big lie. So was "The City That Reads."

My new slogan for this city is: "The City That Needs to Read."

A. Montazer, Baltimore

I suggest "The City That Reads," because reading promotes knowledge, which in turn promotes greatness.

JoAnne Jefferson, Baltimore

"Brothers and Sisters and Baltimore, Forever."

Tom Gill, North Beach

Now that Baltimore has closed many of its libraries and plans to close more, I think the old slogan, "The City That Reads," needs only slight modification to the new slogan: "Baltimore, The City That Doesn't Have Anything to Read."

Tony Schuster, Baltimore

How about, "Baltimore, the City of Apocryphal Love." That makes about as much sense as the others.

Or better yet, "Baltimore, The City That Concocts Inane Slogans."

Arthur Laupus, Columbia

One approaches our fair city with the greatest anticipation. The day's visit promises hidden delights, especially on a brisk morning when the sky seems to have been created by a profligate painter using every version of blue on his palette.

But what's this? Eden is mocked by a circle of brownish hue, arrogantly obscuring hallowed landmarks of the fabled city.

Therefore, my slogan for Baltimore: "The City You Can See Much of the Time."

Thomas Slinkard, Baltimore

Evidently, Martin O'Malley is the "Mayor That Reads," as he borrowed for the city slogan a literary technique called hyperbole.

I'm all for being positive. But let's take things one page at a time and allow the great book that is Baltimore to unfold.

Baltimore's slogan ought to be, "Baltimore: The Largest City in Maryland." This motto is factual, concise and speaks to our fair state, which may or may not be the greatest in the Union."Greatest" is subjective; "largest" can be read in any number of positive (and negative) ways.

Michael Scarcella, Baltimore

`Dodge City of the East'

There are many options for slogans that would depict Baltimore:

"Welcome to Baltimore: Enter at Your Own Risk."

"Baltimore: No. 1 in Killing Cops; No. 1 in Robbery; No. 1 in Heroin Addiction."

"Welcome to Baltimore: Is Your Life Insurance up to Date?"

"Baltimore: The Most Violent City in America."

Lisa Ash, Odenton

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