Louisiana’s way down on the lists of the states with the best educational systems, so I have to admit I was tickled to see a full-page ad in a Colorado newspaper with what I thought was a interesting error.

The ad was placed by someone upset over what they thought was some sort of inside dealings that was allowing a fuel supplier at an airport to be the official supplier, even though this fuel dealer was charging way more than the rate for fuel being charged at other airports.

In a lengthy diatribe about the situation, the sponsor of the ad wrote about what I might describe as the ah-hah moment, the proof of the conspiracy he saw.

And to make the point, the ad’s author wrote, “Wa La …” and went on to explain the revelation he wanted the readers to see.

But while we hear such exclamations these days pronounced as “Wah-Lah,” surely astute Sweet Talk readers realize that the author of this ad and others who we hear saying “Wah-Lah” are really trying to say “Voila,” a French word that means “See there” or which has come to be used to suggest that something has appeared as if by magic.

“Wah-Lah” should probably be pronounced, “V-wah-Lah” with a “V” sound at the start. For sure it would be spelled “voila” and not “Wa-La.”

I have to admit a moment of feeling superior to the folks in Colorado who allowed such a spelling in the big-type text of this big ad. Thank goodness this silly error wasn’t in a Louisiana paper, and in particular in this one.

We’d know the difference — right?


While waiting for our plane last week, to depart Minneapolis heading home after a newspaper publishers’ meeting, I noticed several extra tall young women in the waiting area, each more than 6-feet tall, athletic looking and with noticeably large hands.

My first impression was they must be basketball players and believe that to be true after I later saw several more getting onto our flight, wearing T-shirts from the Houston Comets WNBA team.

I think Gladys and I sat next to Tina Thompson, the team leader, according to their Web site, in points, rebounds and second in assists.

I have to admit I checked the Web site and looked at the photos as while some of the young women looked familiar, I didn’t know their names.

We were sitting in the exit row and Tina was next to the emergency exit, lucky to not have a seat in front of her so she could stretch out a bit. Tina is listed at 6 feet, 2 inches tall. There were two other players on the roster even taller, one 6 feet, 4 inches, the other 6 feet, 3 inches. Former LSU Lady Tigers star Erica White is on the team, though airline seats aren’t as big a problem for her, as she’s only 5 feet, 3 inches.

I think most of the NBA teams have charter flights or private planes so their extra tall players can stretch out a bit. But I felt sorry for these tall gals trying to fit their long bodies into seats designed for people way smaller.

WILL CHAPMAN is publisher of The Daily Iberian.

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