Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I read this article earlier today about a pond in NH which bears a controversial name. Apparently the good people of Mont Vernon, NH are planning on renaming the pond something less offensive. The whole thing struck me as slightly orwellian. Renaming places for political reasons strikes me as vaguely unAmerican. The Soviets were big into renaming things (St. Petersburg= Stalingrad). America still calls an entire region "New England," and that despite the atrocities of the Revolution and the war of 1812. New Mexico wasn't renamed either. I have always been struck by how the names of many American states and place names have Indian origins. Clearly that began when Indians were not particulary well liked here in these United States. I think the Soviets would have renamed places like Connecticut and Iowa with less Indian sounding names and New Mexico would have been renamed "Jefferson" or something. I don't have a problem with renaming the pond exactly. It makes sense on some levels, but something is lost when you do that. The old name, though it may be jarring, would cause anyone who encounters it to think and wrestle about its meaning. The new name will just be a name, and that's a shame.

This reminds me of another pond with a thought provoking name- I remember once, as newlyweds, Sarah and I were out for a drive when we passed a sign for "Ticklenaked pond" in Caledonia County, Vermont. We had to turn around and make sure that was what the sign said. "Yep, Ticklenaked pond." In my opinion, that's the best named body of water in the world. Just perfect! Someday I want to buy property on Ticklenaked Pond. In fact, as long as we're renaming stuff, I think that the United States should unilaterally rename the Atlantic Ocean "Ticklenaked Ocean," and the Mississippi river, "Ticklenaked river." Maybe we should even rename the State of Mississippi while we're at it. Say "Ticklenaked" with a southern drawl and you will instantly see the appeal of renaming Mississippi.  "You yankee agitators aint got no business down here in Ticklenaked. Now g'on, gyit!" Of course then when kids counted during hide-and-go-seek they would have to say "1-ticklenaked, 2-ticklenaked, 3-ticklenaked..."


MomZup said...

So funny on so many levels! Love this post! Time to take the shepherd's pie out of the oven and feed our faces! I am having so much fun with my iPhone I forget it is a phone! So excited to see you folks soon! Love, MZ


We're lookign forward to seeing you too. Congratulations on being more technologically advanced than me! Someday I'll have a portable interweb machine. *sigh*...Someday.

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