Metro

Calif. reporter is sorry for saying ‘Southie’ refers to a person

A screenshot of the Mercury News article on Palo Alto’s new Wahlburgers.
Screenshot
A screenshot of the Mercury News article on Palo Alto’s new Wahlburgers.

Linda Zavoral at California’s Mercury News is sorry for referring to South Boston residents as Southies, but she’s not sorry for her thought process.

After all, she wrote in an apology on the publication’s website on Wednesday, “in all fairness, Southie does sound like a person and not a place.”

(We’re not sure that “Southies,” as Zavoral calls them, would agree.)

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Zavoral, a features editor and blogger for the Bay Area News Group, struck a chord Tuesday after titling an article about California’s first Wahlburgers, “California’s first Wahlburgers: How to eat like a Southie.”

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The headline has since been changed to “Wahlburgers in Palo Alto: How to eat like you come from Southie.”

Needless to say — for Bostonians, at least — there were a couple problems with that headline, the least of which being that the Wahlbergs are from Dorchester, not South Boston.

Donnie Wahlberg pointed out on Twitter that he would technically be a “Dorchester” if people actually said that.

But let’s get back to the syntax for a moment.

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Apologizing to Donnie Wahlberg in her note Wednesday, Zavoral acknowledged that she gets why the phrase “a Southie” is wrong. It’s the same kind of incorrect lingo as an out-of-stater calling San Francisco “Frisco.”

But she also doesn’t really get what all the fuss is about.

“Gee, you’d think we’d accused the Patriots of deflating footballs or something,” she wrote.

Ouch, Zavoral.

Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.