The first thing to say about Yankee Magazine's discourse on the proper (propah) pronunciation of the word 'scallop' is that Janet Aaron may be the perfect embodiment of the New England spirit.

When I wish to be told plainly where the New England mind stands in matters of taste, I turn to an ancient friend of mine, Janet Aaron, who, for the quarter century I have known her, has never equivocated and never doubted. She recalls picking bay scallops on Cape Cod as a girl and says dismissively, "The sea scallop is not even to be mentioned in the same breath as the bay scallop. It is the vulgar version of the scallop."

She fixes me with a warning eye, "And beware the person who says 'skal-lup'! They don 't know what they' re talking about. They're inlanders. It's 'skawl-up.'

The second thing to say is that I actually didn't realize that there was a way to pronounce 'scallop' other than the way I say it. Skawl-up. It's just the way it's pronounced.