A letter to the editor Monday took us to task for using “garage” in a news story to refer to a building where streetcars were kept in Raleigh. The letter writer has a point. The news story writer, though, used a word that more readers are familiar with. That’s an important principle in choosing words for newspaper stories. Sometimes, we need to stick with the familiar.

However, I am glad that the letter writer called our attention to “carbarn.” His letter gave us a lesson in the derivation of the word.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.