Selected feedback of the fortnight.

The Scope welcomes comments on all aspects of city life and the paper’s performance. Letters, e-mails, and website comments may be edited for space and clarity.


Find lots more comments on our examination of the word “Newfie”—from ‘meh’ to near-hysterical ranting to interesting personal anecdotes—here.

That an insult can transcend its target to become a term of endearment is a testament to the beauty and flexibility of the English language. Two important things I look for when I date a language…

In that light I’d like to point out that several of the responses from professional/celebrity “Newfies” that you chose to highlight in your last edition were positively absurd. Comparing us Newfoundlanders—who were never enslaved by anything but our own lack of foresight, whose ancestors all moved here out of choice—to the once enslaved African-American population, is utterly and completely shameful. Newfoundland since its inception as been subject to plenty of injustices, but never have we been enslaved. Yet, often have our ancestors made terrible decisions. And some of us continue to make terrible choices, like the decision to regard the world outside Newfoundland and beyond as the “Mainland”. Your one-sided examination of the “Newfie” condition serves little more purpose than propaganda, and it’s ignorable propaganda at that. It’s the same smarmy kitsch that several of your “celebrity” pundits have accused our tourism industry of proffering. Will the moderately intellectual ever realize that racist accusations are only adding to the joke?

via e-mail

I don’t like the word. I have been called “Newfie” numerous times when I’ve been in Ontario, Quebec, BC, Alberta, Nova Scotia, traveling on the train across the country. While most times people say it thinking I’ll like it, several times it has been said to me as an insult.

That said, every single one of my relatives—blood or by marriage—that live away call themselves newfies and refer to the province as newfie. This isn’t a handful of people, more than 30 easily—some who’ve lived away for a long time, others for just the past few years. Same with friends of mine that live on the mainland.

And the overwhelming majority of my relatives that live in the province also call themselves “Newfies”. They all live ‘around the bay’ and since moving to town and encountering more of the anti-Newfie persuasion I’m inclined to think it is a significant marker of the whole Bayman-Townie divide.

online at

You missed the best part. This property was also the Balsom Hotel for a time after WWII where amongst others, members of the London Theatre Company stayed when performing as a professional theatre group at Bishop Feild School auditorium in the 1950’s.

Ernest G. Reid
via e-mail

Shame on me. I picked up The Scope when I was home last week and waited until I got back to this place where I live to read it. What a fantastic piece of art. Loved every little piece in it. Makes me want to move back home. Seriously.

You know, I always thought the ‘mainland’ was ‘it’. The arts and entertainment the big city offered, the hustle, the bustle, the interesting crime sprees, the weird people (which I guess is why we have such interesting crime sprees)…

But it’s not ‘it’ at all.

The Scope reminded me why it’s so great to be from the Rock. It’s the people. The people who, one by one, are the arts and the entertainment. What a talented bunch of people that make up The Scope (and The Rock). The Scope is a great invention. A great piece of art and entertainment. Ya make me proud.

Eileen Monks
via e-mail

One comment

Boogie on down…

Diana Daly boogaloos over to see what’s cookin’. I LIKE IT LIKE THATHave I ever mentioned that I love Boogaloo?  Did you know that their new store on Duckworth Street (on the corner of Pilot’s Hill) is full to the brim of cool, quality gear to satiate and compliment your rock and roll needs? Well […]

9 November 2006

  1. Neil Butler · November 9, 2006

    Please spare us your self-loathing indignation on behalf of a group with whom you probably have nothing to do with, “t16rkd”. The words “Newfie” and “Nigger” are being compared. No one is comparing Newfoundlanders and African-Americans. The closest any of the “professional/celebrity ‘Newfies’” (as you say), come to that is Ray Guy:
    “We still feign outrage if we hear anyone else use it. Probably like the ‘niggers’ who also use that word in song and story and call themselves by it—but still wouldn’t take kindly if a pale-complected person said it.”

    Your well-written letter would indicate that you can tell the difference.