Letters To Editor
Idaho State Journal
Oct 23, 2020
I enjoyed Shelbie Harris’s well-written article on Poky High School’s “mascot” controversy (11 October, A1). This letter proposes to interject a degree of precision into the argument.
Controversies are more productively argued about when terms are accurately defined, a service best provided by standard dictionaries. This issue involves three aspects. One is nickname, “a descriptive name added to or replacing the actual name of a person, place, or thing.” School nicknames are normally but not always plural. “Indians” is the nickname for PHS—it’s not the mascot. Two is mascot, “a person, animal, or object” that in some way embodies the spirit of a group, “such as a sports team.” A mascot is a singular concept, a personification, usually, of the nickname. “Indians” is not a mascot. Three is logo, “a symbol . . . designed for easy and definite recognition.” Poky’s, in the photo of Joseph Felde, is a stylized Indian profile. more