According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Canada has approximately 350,000 official place names. Learn more about Canada’s toponymic treasures from the Canadian Encyclopedia.
From the 15th to the 18th of June 2016, the 21st annual Sociolinguistics Symposium (SS21) will be taking place at the University of Murcia, Spain. The general theme of this year’s conference is “Attitudes and Prestige”. Although the call for papers has closed, registration is still open.
Pumpkin, sweet pea, honey, sugar, bear, tiger, kitten… names scholars have long known that the terms of endearment couples use for one another in private (and in public) come from a wide range of semantic categories.
However, as reported in “Scientific American,” the intimate names partners use may also reveal a lot about their relationship.
Tarantulas are famous among spider- aficionados for their spectacular range of colors. From neon blue, dusty purple, and sunburst orange to soft charcoal grays and milk chocolate browns, the world’s catalog of tarantulas come in a dazzling array of hues.
In 2016, a newly discovered species delighted fans of the eight-legged giant. A sleek, black, newcomer who immediately reminded scientists of the legendary singer-song-writer, Johnny Cash. In honor of the star, the tarantula was named Aphonopelma johnncashi.
In 1996, the Chicago rock group “Survivor” made headlines when it was announced that co-founder James Peterik would be leaving the band. According to a recent lawsuit lodged in the Chicago federal court, it seems that that musical split did not end the association.
According to the lawsuit, Peterik has continued to use the Survivor name without legal authorization. This is not the first time that the legends of US classic rock have made headlines over trademark infringement. In the fall of 2015, the band sued one-time Republican hopeful, Mike Huckabee, for his unauthorized use of the Survivor hit, “Eye of the Tiger” at a rally to support Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, announced that the U.S. fleet will soon be receiving an historic new addition: “the USNS John Lewis”. In an NBCNews interview, Mabus explained the reason why Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis was chosen for this special honor. “Naming this ship after John Lewis” Mabus stated, “is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive, social, and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation.”
Musically, things have been relatively quiet around the masters of funk, The Gap Band. But legally, the band has continued to make the news. In 2015, the group received a massive settlement from singer Bruno Mars for treading too close to their 1979 “Oops Upside the Head.” Now, in 2016, The Gap Band is making juristic news again over an onomastic family fight. Charlie Wilson has sued his brother Ronnie Wilson over which one owns the rights to the group’s name.
Throughout most of the past century, countless unsuspecting visitors to Whangarei, New Zealand have stopped by one of the city’s most famous landmarks, Mount Parihaka. Unbeknownst to the masses, the name of the sacred space was not “Parahaki” but “Parihaka.” Finally, in 2005, the NZ Geographic Board officially corrected the mistake.
In a moving ceremony this month, hundreds gathered at the summit for a special ceremony: the unveiling of a “kohatu,” a sacred carved rock symbolizing the spirit of the mountain. As Sheryl Mai, Whangarei’s mayor, explained in a Radio New Zealand interview: “…now we’ve got the public coming to meet our beautiful kohatu […] and the name Parihaka has been returned…”
The Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) is inviting the general public to propose new place names for Canada. The accepted toponyms will be recorded in a national register, the Canadian Names Database. There is information on the proposal guidelines and review process specifically for Nova Scotia.
The Hakki Pikki (a tribal community) in Southern India uses name that many westerners wouldn’t consider to be names. They name people after the objects in their world and these names have interesting stories.