As a native of WesSeattle (correct pronunciation) I was totally in agreement with Bob Branom’s pronunciation guide essay, until he got to Hood Canal [“Hey newcomers: Get your local names right! Opinion, Feb. 13”].
Hood Canal was named by George Vancouver. First called Hood’s Channel, he later wrote it as Hood’s Canal and it was officially named by the U.S. board of Geographic Names in 1932 as Hood Canal. Not The Hood Canal.
It wasn’t called the in 1947 when I can first remember vacationing there, and it isn’t called the now.
By the way, I did notice an obviously old Hood’s Canal sign on something when I drove The Canal yesterday, but that was before I read his essay so didn’t note where it was. My family never called it that.
Rainier Valley also doesn’t have a the preceding it either.
Despite a Facebook poll voting otherwise (WesSeattle has a lot of newbies since I left), it is called Spud Fish and Chips not Spuds. The first time I ever heard it miscalled was by a friend from Chelan in 1968, hardly an expert on Western Washington place names.
Larry Richards, Port Townsend