Friday, July 25, 2008

Wiki Weekend No. 2

From the page for Casa Grande, Ariz.:

"Little Rock, Arkansas was supposedly the only city in the United States of America that was an adjective but this is proven false as Casa Grande means 'big house' in Spanish."

Oh, Little Rock being an adjective is too-low-hanging fruit. Let's assume this meant to say "Little Rock, Arkansas, was supposedly the only city whose name was an adjective-and-noun phrase." South Bend? Terre Haute? Baton Rouge? OK, still too easy. How about "an adjective and noun phrase dealing with size"? Big Spring, Texas, easily comes to mind -- it's big enough to have a daily newspaper -- and you might be able to stretch it to include Great Falls, Mont. (Grand Rapids doesn't work because it's on the Grand River, and let's leave out Little Falls, N.Y., because it only shared a daily newspaper with nearby Herkimer. We must have SOME standards.) Beyond that it does get hard, except that doubtless there are cities with American Indian-based names meaning "big" or "little." Perhaps we can say "Little Rock and Casa Grande are the only U.S. cities whose names are adjective-and-noun phrases in European languages involving size but not involving water." Whoops, forgot about Alamogordo, N.M. -- meaning "fat cottonwood." So we have to make it "two-word adjective-and-noun"...

But I guess it's still OK to say that "Little Rock and Casa Grande are the only U.S. cities that are adjectives." Put that in your next travel piece and say, "But I checked it against an encyclopedia."

2 comments:

Brian Cubbison said...

High Point, N.C.?

Brian White said...

Just came across another one: Bountiful, Utah.