You are a rational and intelligent human being. You are able to make sense of the world around you, solve problems methodically, and pay your taxes every year. However, if you’re anything like the majority of the collector-car community, you also are prone to start shouting at the screen and throwing things in the instance that somebody repeats as true some tidbit of information that you know couldn’t be more wrong.
(We writers have a similar condition. Don’t you dare show up in my presence with the catastrophe apostrophe. Drives me bonkers.)
Some people suppress that urge to throw things well; they bite their knuckles and just let it pass, figuring the other person will come to realize the error of their ways on their own. Other people give into that urge, leading them to type out rambling responses in all caps on every relevant message board, blog, forum, and Facebook post. Neither approach works: People, in general, have a hard time altering their thinking without external nudges, and they sure as sugar don’t care about the rantings of most online lunatics.
Fortunately, in the Hemmings Daily audience we not only have a lot of experts, but we also have a lot of readers who are open to learning something new. That said, we have the perfect opportunity to correct long-held and oft-repeated automotive misconceptions with open minds and without shouting.
I’ll go first. Even though I’m a Jeep fan going back to my Tonka days, I’ve always pronounced Willys as Will-eze. Apparently, I’m not the only one, either. A quick googling turns up plenty of threads on Jeep forums regarding pronunciation of the name, and Chrysler has even been caught pronouncing it as I did. But as I learned recently, John North Willys, the namesake of the company, pronounced his last name Will-iss, as documented by Jeep historians and The Toledo Blade.
So let’s clear up some misconceptions. Make sure to include at least a trusted reference or documentation to back up your assertions. Also, let’s keep an open mind — it’s what rational and intelligent human beings do, after all.