I am used to dodging people handing out free papers as I enter and leave subway stations, but today I passed a woman distributing The L Magazine, which was a new twist on an old annoyance. For you non-New Yorkers (or New Yorkers who have long since stopped noticing the myriad publications available for free on the street), The L Magazine is a biweekly (?) young-adult-oriented arts-and-lifestyle glossy about the size of TV Guide. The reason I bring it up is that the woman handing it out was wearing an apron stuffed with copies of the mag and saying, "L Magazine... L Magazine..." to everyone who walked by. Perhaps because I had just read this NYT article, I heard it as "Elle magazine... Elle magazine..." And I amused myself all the way home imagining some poor person hoisting a stack of the 600-page September issue of Elle and begging passersby to take them off her hands. It'd be like passing out free bricks. Although I guess you'd probably find more takers for the magazine (depending on the neighborhood).
I've always thought "Elle" was a terrible name for a magazine, for just this reason; when you say it out loud it just sounds like "L." It doesn't seem to have hurt them any, but it bothers me. Too bad Spain isn't the center of international fashion, I thought to myself as I headed home; they could have called it "Ella," which would be far more distinctive and euphonic. Then I wondered, Is Spanish Elle called Ella? I asked Google and instead learned that Patsy on AbFab was an editor for a fictional fashion magazine called Ella. Can anybody tell me whether they pronounced it like the spanish word, or like the English girl's name? Now I'm curious. Please satisfy my hunger for trivia!