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Why is it the Maple Leafs and not Leaves?
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Michael Miranda, Kauai, Hawaii: Hey, that's my question! Says you. But I e-mailed you. [Ed.'s note: ] Whatever. Who else did you ask? My high school teachers. They said it was some kind of Canadian thing. We'll see about that. Maria, research librarian, National Library of Canada: It's not a Canadian thing, per se, but the Maple Leaf is an important national symbol. And why's that? It goes back a long way, likely to aboriginal people who harvested maple sap every spring. So they could have been the Toronto Maple Saps? I really can't say. Sure you can! Is this some kind of joke? Yes, Maria. Yes it is. Well, all right then. Dave Griffiths, media relations coordinator, Toronto Maple Leafs: Conn Smythe changed the name from the St. Patricks to the Maple Leafs when he bought the team in '27. And why's that? He had a lot of patriotic pride. Yes, but why Leafs? He was in World War I. Canadian soldiers wore Maple Leaf armbands. I suppose he thought calling them the Leaves would diminish the symbolism. James HiDuke, "Dr. Grammar," University of Northern Iowa: Webster recognizes "leafs" as an acceptable pluralization. American Heritage does not. Mercy! When dealing with titles, it's often best to leave it alone -- the hell with grammar! You're a credit to the profession, Doc. Dan Diamond, editor, Total Hockey: Leafs with an "f" predates Smythe. There was a local hockey team -- even a baseball team -- called the Maple Leafs. Some kind of Canadian thing, eh? Nah. It probably just looked better on the sweater.

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