Senators downplay Trump’s veto threat over renaming military bases

Senate Republicans have a simple message after President Donald Trump dashed off a tweet threatening to veto their must-pass defense policy bill over the renaming of bases named for Confederate leaders: Give it some time.

Republicans responded to Trump’s tweet by noting that the bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, is a long way from the President’s desk — arguing they had ample opportunity to address an amendment that calls for the removal of the names of Confederate leaders from all military assets within three years.

The amendment to rename military installations was added to the annual defense policy bill by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts when the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the legislation in June 2020. The issue of bases named after Confederate leaders, and Trump’s staunch resistance, has put Republicans in an awkward spot, dividing Senate Republicans who are facing reelection fights in 2020.

Petition to rename Columbus in Ohio to ‘Flavortown’

 

The city of Columbus, Ohio, has already vowed to bring down its statue of Christopher Columbus. But thousands are hoping to erase the city's connection to Columbus' legacy even further by renaming it Flavortown in honor of Columbus native Guy Fieri.

For Tyler Woodbridge, who spent over seven years of his life in Columbus, the statue's removal wasn't enough. "Even though it's my favorite city, I was always a bit ashamed of the name," Woodbridge told CNN. So the 32-year-old started a petition to rename the city to Flavortown in honor of Fieri, the celebrity restaurateur who was born in Columbus. Fieri's use of the expression on his various shows on The Food Network has become his signature catchphrase.

Rhode Island moves to change official name

Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order announcing the state would move forward with changing its official name due to its ties to American slavery. The state’s official name, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” appears on state documents. But the order would shorten it to just “Rhode Island”.

“The pain that this association causes to some of our residents should be of concern to all Rhode Islanders and we should do everything in our power to ensure that all communities can take pride in our state,” the governor wrote. The new name would take effect “as soon as practicable” and apply to all state government communications, including agency websites and correspondence.

“The Before Time”: From Star Trek to real life

In the 1966 “Star Trek” episode “Miri,” the title character (right) uses “the Before Time” to describe her world before a devastating plague

In his Word on the Street column in the Wall Street Journal, linguist Ben Zimmer discusses the curious phrase “the before time”. It’s used these days to refer to everyday life before the coronavirus pandemic, but where did it come from?

Beginning in the Middle English of the late 14th century, “beforetime” or “beforetimes” could be used as an adverb meaning “in the past, formerly.” “Beforetime” shows up frequently in the King James version of the Bible. But, as with many pop culture references, the current use is probably because of Star Trek. As Zimmer says:

We likely owe the “Before Time” label to an episode of the original Star Trek series broadcast in 1966, in which the crew of the Enterprise encounter a planet populated by children who survived a man-made plague. A young girl name Miri (whose name also serves as the title of the episode) explains how the planet’s grown-ups, known as “Grups,” disappeared: “That was when they started to get sick in the Before Time. We hid, then they were gone.”

Head over the Wall Street Journal to read more! (If you don’t have a subscription, you can find a PDF of the article here.)

 

About Names: Errol shot up like an arrow with Flynn’s success, then plummeted

Actor Errol Flynn

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 20th column, he looks at the history of the name Errol.

Errol is a village in Perthshire, Scotland, so ancient its original meaning is unknown. Around 1178, King William I of Scotland granted the barony of Errol to Norman knight William de la Haye. In 1309, King Robert the Bruce made Gilbert, de la Haye’s great-great-grandson, hereditary High Constable of Scotland. In 1453, James II made Gilbert’s great-great-grandson William Hay first Earl of Erroll. (Spelling was still do-it-yourself in 1453; maps then sometimes used “Arroll” for the village.)

The Earls of Erroll are Scotland’s most important peers, second only to the royal family. Josslyn Hay (1901-41), 22nd Earl of Erroll, became a colonial planter in Kenya. He was murdered there, with his married lover’s husband controversially acquitted of the crime. His grandson, Merlin, 24th Earl, is a computer programmer who is now the House of Lords’ cybersecurity expert.

It’s not hard to find examples of boys named “Cedric Errol,” with Errol being the middle name. Prominent New Orleans architect and painter Errol Barron (born 1941) was Cedric Errol Barron Jr. at birth. Still, the name stayed rare until Errol Flynn became famous. Star of box-office hits like “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938), Variety ranked him the fourth most popular film actor in 1940. Errol first entered the top 1,000 baby names in 1936, peaking at 354th five years later, along with Flynn’s career.

How Boston got its name

A group of English Puritans founded the Plymouth Colony in 1620, just to the south of Massachusetts Bay.  Their leader, Puritan lawer and Governor John Winthrop announced the foundation of the town of Boston on September 7, 1630 with the place named after the town of Boston, in the English county of Lincolnshire, from which several prominent colonists emigrated.… Read More

About Names: Eustace wasn’t rare in Britain, but it never caught on in America

Cover of the first issue of the New Yorker, with the figure of dandy Eustace Tilley, created by Rea Irvin

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 6th column, he looks at the history of the name Eustace.

Eustace is the English form of Latin Eustachius, combining Greek Eustathios “well-built” and Eustachys “fruitful.” St. Eustace was supposedly martyred in A.D. 118. According to legend, he was a Roman general who converted to Christianity when he saw a crucifix in the antlers of a stag. Eustace, his wife and sons were roasted to death inside a bronze statue of a bull after refusing to make pagan sacrifices.

Though uncommon, Eustace stayed in use among England’s nobility. It was less popular in the United States, partly because Puritans avoided names of non-Biblical saints. The 1850 United States Census found 90 Eustaces. The 1851 census of Great Britain had 188, though the two nations then had about the same population. The latest available British census of 1911 included 3,009 Eustaces. The 1910 American census had 1,057, though then the United States had almost twice as many residents.

The most famous Eustaces are fictional. In 1925 the cover of the first issue of the New Yorker featured a drawing by Rea Irvin of a monocled dandy with a top hat. Later that year, author Corey Ford named him “Eustace Tilley.” The character reinforced the name’s effete image.

BabyNames.com makes a powerful statement in honor of the black lives lost to police violence

Jennifer Moss, longtime member of the American Name Society and owner of BabyNames.com, has chosen a unique and powerful way to show solidarity with the black community and support for Black Lives Matter.

Instead of the usual popular name rankings and photos of babies, the site’s homepage shows a black box with dozens of names, all belonging to black Americans who’ve died due to police violence or, in a few cases, at the hands of civilians.

“Each of these names was somebody’s baby,” the site reads. A reminder of the importance of names.

War of Names: “Floyd Road” in China vs. “Li Wenliang Plaza” in the US

Chinese netizens on May 31, 2020 protested against the US’ continued hyping of doctor Li Wenliang’s death to attack China, saying the US should find fault with itself and reflect on George Floyd’s death rather than point its fingers at others. Some Net users suggested renaming the road near the US Embassy in Beijing as Floyd Road in commemoration of the victim of US racism and police violence.

Fu Xuejie, the wife of late doctor Li Wenliang, has voiced her opposition to a US lawmaker’s push that calls for the street in front of the Chinese Embassy in the US to be renamed Li Wenliang Plaza, saying she was “very sad to hear that.”

How To Pronounce Everything In Frank Herbert’s Dune

Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the well-known science-fiction novels of the 20th century. Set in a fictional feudal universe and centered on the conflict between two powerful houses, it’s a dense book full of terminology that Herbert crafted from many sources, but that feel almost impossible to pronounce unless you’re familiar with the languages he borrowed from to give Dune its unique tone.

If you’re curious how to pronounce some of the oft-repeated terms in Dune but have no idea where to start, you’re in luck! One clever fan compiled sound clips of Herbert himself saying the words of Dune on a blog called Usul’s Homepage.

Many of the words in Dune appear to come from Arabic root words, but Herbert doesn’t actually use the proper Arabic pronunciations in his reading. It appears he anglicized much of it, perhaps intentionally or perhaps from his own misunderstanding of Arabic.

(Original post at Nerdist)