December 1995
Slovenian Research Center of America, Inc.
Dr. Edward Gobetz
29227 Eddy Road
Willoughby Hills, OH 44092

Both 'Slovene' and 'Slovenian' have long been used in respectable books and the media, yet there is still considerable disagreement as to which of the two terms is correct or at least preferable.

As Dr. Frank J. Kern pointed out in Zarja-The Dawn (Nov., 1949), the use of the term 'Slovene' had been copied from French. It was particularly popularized at the end of the First World War, when a new kingdom, known in French, then the primary diplomatic language, as 'Royaume des Serbes, Croates et Slovenes,' was established. The British incorrectly adopted and in the first two instances only slightly modified theFrench terms, introducing the English use of the words Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. With the exception of an accent and pronunciation, the English name 'Slovenes' is, in its written form, identical with the French term. Yet, while the use in French is quite appropriate, the use of an identical term in English is not. As a general rule, whenever the English names of countries end in '-ia,' the names of their respective peoples end in '-ian.'

Thus, we have Austria-Austrian, Australia-Australian, Russia-Russian, Lithuania-Lithuanian, Estonia-Estonian, Romania-Romanian,Bosnia-Bosnian, Cambodia-Cambodian, California-Californian, etc. Obviously, it is only logical that we should also use Slovenia-Slovenian.

This rule is so well established that it is almost impossible to imagine such terms as Austrenes, Australenes, Italenes, Russeries, Estoneries, etc. Who in the world would be willing to accept such distortions of the English language and its established logic? Yet, somehow, this is what has happened to the people of Slovenia (and let us emphasize that contrary to a recently published statement of a SIM translator, the name Slovenia, while discouraged by the Germans for purposes of easier Germanization, has been known for centuries, as we will show and document elsewhere). Dr. Kern openly and honestly regretted the 'bad influence of his own English-Slovene Dictionary and The English-Slovene Reader.' To comply with the British version he, too, at first used the incorrect 'Slovene,' but later, for many decades, tried to correct his 1919 mistake and advocated the universal use of the term 'Slovenian,' both as a noun and an adjective. The defenders of the the term Slovenian range from Dr. Kern and Dr. Vojmir Bratina, an internationally prominent Slovenian Canadian (not Canadene!) metallurgist, who is also a capable linguist and is exceptionally well versed in Slovenian literary history, archeology and the arts, to Dr. Charles Gribble, an American professor of Slavic languages and literatures and director of the Slavica Publishers, who, for instance, wrote us how glad he was that The Slovenian Research Center of America, Inc., used the correct term 'Slovenian' rather than the incorrect 'Slovene' (advocated by a Slovenian-born professor in New York).

It was, however, only in November, 1995, that we heard another very interesting and witty observation on this topic, as related by Mrs. Genevieve 'Gene' Drobnic. Her late father Frank Jaksic, like herself a noted Slovenian American civic leader, put it this way: 'When residents of Virginia will no longer be called Virginians but Virgins, then, and only then, I would be willing to call our people Slovenes rather than Slovenians.'

While we hope that this logic will inevitably and increasingly prevail throughout the English-speaking world, it is nevertheless comforting to know that quite regardless of whether we use Slovenian or Slovene, love is in every Slovenian. Is there any other county in the entire world which contains love in its very name?