We thank our Web poll voters for giving us a clear mandate to continue using "AuSable" - one word, capital "S" - in all printed uses for the river, the Forks, the town, the club or whatever.
That was the choice of 45 percent of 456 votes in the unscientific, but still valuable, poll for Dec. 12 to 19. Twenty-one percent voted for "Ausable" (one word, lowercase "s") in all uses, and 18 percent preferred two words: "Au Sable." Only 7 percent thought the spelling should vary depending on whether you're talking about the river or the Forks, etc., and 9 percent were undecided.
The name is French, meaning "of sand" or "sandy." The folks in the Forks usually split it into two words, but otherwise it's more common to make it one word - including on state signs - so it makes sense to use it that way consistently. "Ausable" is problematic because it can be misstated as AW-su-bul instead of aw-SAY-bul - or worse, "a Usable."
The single word with capital "S" strikes us as the most sensible, especially since it's a common way French names beginning with articles or prepositions are spelled around these parts.