According to a report in the Columbia Daily Tribune, the issue arose when city planners in Columbia proposed to change the name of a street from “Point Penos” to “San Mateo.”
According to the Tribune story, a couple of city commissioners figured the reason for erasing Point Penos from the slate was obvious.
“Add a Missouri drawl and the name could be trouble,” the Tribune writer concluded.
I noticed the same thing when John Denver crashed into the bay at Point Pinos – every news anchor across the country referred to the area as “near Lovers Point” or “off the California Coast”. No news reader would dare try and say it.