Whiting the Hun

For the past couple months, I’ve been following “Hon-gate” closely.

Denise Whiting, owner of Baltimore’s Café Hon and founder of HonFest, got into trouble recently for trademarking and defending her ‘ownership’ of the word Hon.

And yes, this is ridiculous. Sure, she should have some say over those phrases related to her business: (Café Hon, HonFest, and her store, Hon Town … ), but the word itself? That’s like trying to trademark ‘Dear’ or ‘Sweetie’ or “Luv.’

The Texas Monthly recently awarded a Bum Steer Award to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who filed an (ultimately unsuccessful) application to trademark the term “The Alamo.”

Baltimore should take note and set up the Bum Boh or Bum Blue Crab Awards for those who try to curtail what little character Maryland offers to America’s pop culture scene.

Whiting has since apologized, but not backed off her trademark. For my part, I’m going to get a T-Shirt and some iron-on letters that say:



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