A rose by any other name

With the stroke of a pen, O'Bama has removed America's highest mountain.

What power that man has!

I'm so happy for my Mercan readers that O'Bama has sorted everything out over there, and that everyone is so happy and contented that O'Bama can turn his attention to more pressing matters like renaming a mountain?

They do that here too.  They keep renaming things like bridges or stations or sports arenas, sometimes to "commemorate" someone or sometimes because some company pays for it.  Not too long ago they even had the daft idea of removing an entire town's name off the map – they declared that Dingle no longer existed and that henceforth it was to be know as An Daingean.  Did the people of Dingle mind?  Not at all.  They just carried on calling it Dingle as did everyone else.

I was brought up at a time when Dublin's main railway stations were known by where they were located, so we had Westland Row, Pearse Street, Amien's Street and Kingsbridge.  Now they are "officially" called after some long forgotten patriots but I still refer to them by their original names as do a lot of people.  Similarly I will always call Landsdowne Road Stadium and The Point Depot by their proper names as I don't see why I should advertise an insurance company or a mobile phone company, which incidentally have extremely stupid and irritating names.

Even here in the village a pub or a shop can change ownership many times and the old names will still survive.  A name is a label that is attached to an item, be it a shop, a bridge or even a mountain.  The item can be relabeled at any time and any number of times, but if you use a label that everyone knows then the job is done.  If I tell someone I'm going up the valley, everyone knows where I'm heading as there are many valleys around here but only one The Valley, and officialdom can change its name as often as they like but it will always be known locally as The Valley.

I would even go so far as to say that it is impossible to rename a place or a building.  The only way it would be possible is to give it a new name and then erase the old one from every written record and then to somehow wipe it from everyone's memory. 

So we have all this fuss and hoo hah over O'Bama renaming Mount McKinley as Denali.  So fucking what?  People have presumably always called it by both names and will continue to do so.  All it boils down to is that official maps and geography textbooks will have to be reprinted and any poor kid who cites Mount McKinley as America's highest mountain is going to get a clip in the ear from teacher.

I feel sorry though for all those who scaled the mountain in the past and who proudly boast they climbed Mount McKinley.

Now they have to start all over again and climb Denali.

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Comments

A rose by any other name — 9 Comments

  1. It the usual distraction. He is getting the compliant news organizations something they can get people to talk about while he continues his war on success by crippling the US economy with his restrictions on the oil  and coal industry.

    After all he publicly stated "we cannot drill our way out of the recession", Then we basically did just that going from a oil importer to being self sufficient. As he can never be wrong he must kill the industry as quickly as possible. 

    Since most of Alaska's economy is based on oil his policies will leave them bankrupt, but they didn't vote for him so they don't matter. 

    • So you reckon that the Alaskans are happy to accept bankruptcy in exchange for a rename of their mountain?

      I suppose that's a fair trade.  We Irish accepted bankruptcy in exchange for a rename of the bank that caused the crash.

      People still call it "The IBRC, the bank that used to be known as Anglo" though.  Quite a mouthful?

  2. Jim C. has got it right.
    Mount McKinley or Denali will always be called Mount McKinley or Denali.  Both names were correct in the past and both names will be correct in the future.

    O.B.A.M.A = One Big Ass Mistake America

  3. This re-naming thing has been around a long time, although sometimes the new one's better.

    One of the pubs near my old home was always called the Romper.

    "What is known for sure is that The Romper was once named The Red Lion, though at some point in its existence, a local village wag bequeathed it the nickname, “The Rompin’ Kittlin”. One story goes that a local painter had repainted the lion on the pub’s sign one day, but when he presented his efforts to the drinkers at the bar he was met with derision. They sneeringly declared it bore more resemblance to a romping kitten than a rampant lion. Whatever the truth, in the spirit of good humour, the nickname stuck".

     

     

     

    • Dubliners are famous for putting satirical names on things.  Molly Malone became "the Tart with a Cart" and that hideous [now thankfully gone] fountain in O'Connell Street – "the Floozie in the Jacuzzi".

      It doesn't matter a damn what people call places or things.  If the person you are speaking to knows what you are talking about then what difference does it make?

  4. Doubt anyone in Alaska seriously gives a hoot what the mountain is named; they're pretty well stoned up there year round and normally refer to it as "the big fucking hill over there."

    As for Obama, well…at least he didn't decide to (illegally) invade the mountain to bring it Democracy.

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