Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Naming Things

Those of us who live here in the National Capitol Region have grown used to some oddly-chosen names for places, buildings, and major highways.

For example, US Route 1 from Washington south to Richmond, Virginia, is known locally as "The Jefferson Davis Highway" ... making us one of the few nations that would name a major artery after a traitor (Jefferson Davis, for those of you reading this in other countries, was the president of the Southern states during the Civil War*). We also have Route 50 - the "Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway" - named for two famous Southern civil war generals, not to mention the Army's nearby Fort A.P. Hill, named for yet another Southern general.

We don't just name things after traitors, although if we did we might consider renaming DC's Blue Plains Sewage Treatment Plant in honor of Edward Snowdon. For instance, Interstate 95/395, the major north-south artery into Washington known as the "Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway," was named for a former Virginia Highway Commissioner, a major bridge over the Potomac River is named for President Woodrow Wilson, and a stretch of state route 234 in Prince William County is known as "The Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Highway." Former president Reagan's name also graces the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport**.

But if we were to do some appropriate naming, we might make other choices.

For instance, since Interstate 95/395 (north-south) and Interstate 66 (east-west) are traffic-choked nightmares on which one can sit for hours in miserable gridlock, why not name one "The US Senate Highway" and the other "The US House of Representatives Highway?"

And why not name more of our local landmarks in honor of their corporate owners, the way we name sports arenas ... like "The Koch Brothers Capitol Hill." We could also name them in honor of those who provide them with large amounts of business, like the National Rifle Association Emergency Room of the Washington Hospital.

Looking beyond Washington, why not rename Mount St Helens as "Mount Cruz," in honor of the large quantities of hot air and poisonous gas vented by the senator from Texas?

Any other ideas? Leave a comment. Inquiring minds want to know.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Known in much of the South, where Confederate figures are still frequently revered as heroes, as "The War of Northern Aggression." 

** If they could figure out how to do it, the GOP would change the name of Washington, DC, to Reagan City ... or "Ciudad Reagan," in an attempt to cozy up to Hispanic voters.


Mike said...

Do you have an aviary there? Rename it the Benedict Arnold Aviary.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

We call it "The Late Unpleasantness." which was an euphemism as there was a black flag war fought in many of the bayous against the invaders.

In the spirit of your request, I suppose we could name the main drag of Washington "Rotten Row," borrowing it from the English. And I'm unfamiliar with the demimonde of Washington, but that area could be called St. John's Wood.

Duckbutt said...

The Beltway could be re-named the Expanding Waistline or the Crazy Belt.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Let us not forget that they renamed Washington National (which is the only name I will refer to it as)to a name of a president who fired all of our countries air traffic controllers because they wanted a living wage and started all over with new kids and paid them nothing. Yea, that was a smart idea naming an airport after him.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of my life!