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MJ

Ballet Theatre

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Why does the NY Times refer to ABT as Ballet Theatre? I get confused when I read this, and have to think twice.

MJ

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I can only guess -- partly because it's original name was Ballet Theatre, but more likely for the same reason that sometimes when writing people will write "City Ballet" instead of New York City Ballet. It could be as simple as not wanting to say American Ballet Theatre three times in a row, or for the rhytm of the sentence, or to avoid using the initials. (And if the writer is referring to ABT during the time it was known as Ballet Theatre, then it's to be historically accurate.)

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Actually, the Times does not refer to ABT as Ballet Theatre, but even more shockingly as Ballet Theater. I have called the Times about this continuing error in spelling and they explained basically that "theater" is the correct spelling, that their software kicks out the spelling THEATRE, and that they can't be bothered to change it each time. I explained that American Ballet Theatre is a proper name and, as such, they really have no right to change the spelling. They don't care.

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Ah standardization -- and welcome, Paolo!

The Washington Post doesn't have little things like umlauts and accent marks, so many foreign words -- even if they're of a foreign leader -- are mispelled. Their software can't manage them, even though a $500 Dell computer can. This is progress :)

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As we who toil on the boards are fond of saying:

"Theatre is an art. It takes place in a theater."

When you buy tickets for ABT, it isn't to go look at the building!

Watermill

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Side note,I noticed Texas Ballet Theater,spells it theater,instead of Theatre,wonder why!?!? Maybe cause it's texas? haha :-D

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Theater is the American spelling. Theatre is European. I believe Ballet Theatre assumed the Continental usage to suggest a worldwide venue for their work.

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I always made the same distinction as Watermill, but Mel Johnson sent me to the dictionary and there's no such distinction. In the American Heritage Dictionary, Theatre is just given as an alternate spelling of Theater. "Theatre" is said to be Middle English.

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It's a matter of usage, which is being found less and less in dictionaries these days. In the third grade I was taught that "theater/theatre" would get me full credit either way, but over the years, the latter has migrated to Chiefly Brit. If you spell "centre" and "manoeuvre" and "reconnoitre", you're more bound to spell "theatre". In Barnet Schechter's recent The Battle for New York, the British edition speaks of John Burgoyne's writing for the "theatre". The American edition says he wrote for the "theater".

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The NYT has their own style book, Adolf Hitler is referred to as "Mr. Hitler". American English (AKA Muhriken) is the lingua franca.

Has Ballet Theatre ever performed at the State Theater?

The NY State Theater in Lincoln Centere is typically referred to as "the State Theater" by Noo Yawkuhs. Yet another confusing abbreviation.

Speaking of Lincoln Centere, The NY Philharmonic and the NY City Opera are both threatening to move: City Opera to a new opera house at ground zero, and the Philharmoniuc to Carnegie hall. Goodside: more free time at LC for visiting comapnies. Badside: less money for LC.

MJ

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We are indeed fortunate that American English pronunciation did not freeze during the Lyndon Johnson administration. The mind boggles at Merkin Airlines, or Merkin Express Company, or that great magazine, Merkin Hurtage, and worst of all "Mah Fella Merkins". (oh, look it up, look it up) Actually "Hitler" has become a metonym, and a title is not usually used when referring to him, except in regard to his political office, particularly during the Hindenburg presidency.

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Has Ballet Theatre ever performed at the State Theater? 

ABT performed at State Theatre in the 70s.

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And before that. I was delighted to be in the 1967 opening night audience for the Blair production of Swan Lake, and my seatmate was Robert Weiss, now of Carolina Ballet, with whose parents I had once observed his debut with NYCB, in Don Quixote(Balanchine/Nabokov/ecch).

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The NY State Theater in Lincoln Centere is typically referred to as "the State Theater" by Noo Yawkuhs. Yet another confusing abbreviation.

Actually, MJ, as you see from Dale's post, we Noo Yawkuhs call it "State Theater" -- no "the". If we're really, really in a hurry :hyper:, simply "State" will have to do (providing there is enough context, of course).

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carbro, we're always in a hurry!!! :)

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Speaking of Lincoln Centere, The NY Philharmonic and the NY City Opera are both threatening to move: City Opera to a new opera house at ground zero, and the Philharmoniuc to Carnegie hall. Goodside: more free time at LC for visiting comapnies. Badside: less money for LC.

Hello, MJ, and welcome to last year.

If you find "State Theater" a confusing abbreviation, I'd hate to think what you'd make of how New Yorkers still refer to the Pan Am building, tell you where to hop on the BMT to get where you're going, or blithely ignore that someone in the Roosevelt administration decided Sixth Ave should really be "Avenue of the Americas." And Fashion Avenue? Let's not even go there. Yeah, I miss the telephone exchanges, too, but that's another story.

I'm still hoping that my own shorthand for the Time Warner Center, "that monstrosity where the Coliseum used to be" will catch on, but only time will tell.

Personally, I think it's just fine that The Times is aware of the differences between American and British spelling and usage, and respects them. Great, even. It's pretentious for Americans to deliberately misspell a word in order to give themselves cachet, or because they think it looks cooler.

Perhaps if "Gentleman Johnny" had been a more effective general, we wouldn't have such differences in spelling and usage to vex us.

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