Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Catholic Show Season 2

Finally after much waiting That Catholic Show season 2 is on the way.
Six months is an eternity in Internet time, so I hope they make it worth the wait.
In the meantime, enjoy a mini-webisode.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jellystone Park

While many people will be staying at home for summer vacation or touring the great parks that this country has to offer, my brood and I will be sampling the delights of Jellystone Park with Yogi Bear and Boo Boo too. Yes, the annual pilgrimage to this family friendly campground is about to begin: a solid week of frenetic days and sleepless nights; mini-golf and water hole; bugs and campfires; panning for fossils and face painting. The pain/pleasure will be shared by the in-laws: father, mother, sister, niece, and nephews. We usually get two side-by-side cabins and a camper pad and share meals and child watching duties. We take meals in common as well as water gun activities. I hate getting there, but I usually have a good time once I'm there. Now, I may need a vacation to recover from my vacation, but that's because I'm getting old ... ;-)

What's on your summer plan?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Name your own city

If you could name a city or place absolutely anything you wanted, what would you call it?

I like language and I sometimes think about how place names come about. I'm often surprised at the complete lack of originality that denizens of a particular place demonstrate in naming their town, city, whatever.

The #1 choice in the too-dumb-to-think-up-a-name category is: the exact same name as some old city. Examples: Rome, NY; Moscow, IN; Berlin, VA; Vienna, VA

The next most obvious choice is to stick the word "New" in front of some old beloved city. Gag. How boring: New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, etc.

Equally obvious is to stick: town, ton, burgh, city, ville, land, or polis on the end of some Noun.

Slightly more creative and a little more natural is, well, nature landmarks as a suffix:
  • ford
  • fort
  • field
  • plains
  • view
  • burgh
  • side
  • grove
  • wood
  • way
And then the ever-popular adjective-noun place names:
  • Little/Big
  • White/Black/Red/Color
Failing that, places seem to get named for its founder or famous person: (Lord) Fairfax, (John Foster) Dulles, San Francisco (Saint Francis).

So I went on a hunt for place names because I was curious. Some interesting hits turned up for place name etymology: German, Latin, Slavic, Greek, Celtic, city residents,
German names from prehistoric and medieval times:
  1. with the suffix -au, -aue (related to rivers or water), see German words Au or Aue. This meaning of -au (earlier spelling ow, owe, ouwe) describes settlements at rivers, creeks. Example: Passau, a town Aue, rivers named Aue.
  2. with Low German suffix -oog (= "island"). Example: Dutch Schiermonnikoog.
  3. with the suffix -um (North Germany), -heim (South and Central Germany, Switzerland, Alsace), -ham / -am (Bavaria and Austria), -hem / -em (West) (all cognate to English home and the English place name suffix -ham). Examples: Alkersum, Bochum, Borkum, Pforzheim, Kirchham, Schiltigheim
  4. with the suffix -ing or -ingen, -ungen, -ung, -ens (meaning "descendants of", used with a personal name as the first part). Examples: Göttingen, Straubing, Esens.
  5. with the suffix -stadt or -stedt ("town"). Examples: Darmstadt, Neustadt.
  6. with the suffix -burg ("keep", borough). Examples: Hamburg, Luxembourg, Regensburg (with the river Regen), Salzburg (with the Ancient Roman reference to salt), Straßburg (Strasbourg).
  7. with the suffix -berg ("mountain"). Examples: Heidelberg, Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Königsberg ("king's mountain", now Kaliningrad)
  8. with the suffix -dorf or -torf ("village"). Example: Düsseldorf.
  9. with the suffix -furt ("ford"). Examples: Erfurt, Frankfurt.
  10. with the suffix -brücken or -brück ("bridge"). Examples: Saarbrücken, Osnabrück, Innsbruck.
  11. with the suffix -hausen ("house"). Examples: Mülhausen (Mulhouse), Mühlhausen, Schaffhausen.
  12. with the suffix -feld ("field"). Examples: Bielefeld, Mansfeld.
  13. with the suffix -werth, -wörth, or -ort ("holm"). Example: Kaiserswerth, Donauwörth, Ruhrort
  14. with the suffix -roth or -rath, -rode, -reuth, -rade ("clearing"). Example: Roth, Wernigerode, Overath. It can also be used as the prefix -Rade: Radebeul, Radevormwald.
German names from modern times. They usually follow the established patterns.
I guess what is obvious is that a name is supposed to mean something; who cares about a city called Kadfalas unless it signifies something to someone?

Maybe I'll call my house something like manor estates do. Problem is, I can't think of anything ... We jokingly refer to Mom's as Home Base, mine as Outpost 1, and my brother's as Outpost 2.


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