Stop inventing anglicized names

A disturbing trend (well, disturbing to anal-retentive copy editors anyway) has been developing in the anglophone media, of directly translating the names of Quebec-based organizations whose names have no English translation, and treating those translations as proper names. The Gazette invented the “Montreal Transit Commission” as its name for the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The Chronicle calls it the “Montreal Transport Society“. Canadian Press calls the Sûreté du Québec the “Quebec Provincial Police” or “QPP”.

Most anglophone media in Quebec tend to use the French names, since their viewers and readers tend to be at least functionally bilingual. For media outside Quebec who must translate into English, please use a generic name for the organization (meaning lowercase) so people don’t get the mistaken impression that you’re using their actual name.

Let’s end the confusion. Stop playing Language God.

6 thoughts on “Stop inventing anglicized names

  1. Fagstein Post author

    That’s an interesting twist to this story. “MUCTC” was an official English name for the company back when its French equivalent was CTCUM. When they switched to STCUM and STM there was no English version.

    Now, the Gazette and CJAD use MTC, while younger anglophone media use STM.

    Most importantly, the STM itself uses STM in all English communication.


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