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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Otke Notive, Otke Notive, It's a Helluva Town

How much easier our genealogical lives would be if this proposal to rename America's cities and towns had caught on. Each place would have a unique name derived from its longitude and latitude, with letters replacing numerals.

Stedman Whitwell, 19th-century social reformer and architect of Robert Owen’s failed Utopian city at New Harmony, was deeply troubled by the will-nilly way that cities and towns were named in America, and proposed a more “rational” system of geographical nomenclature, which would have renamed Washington as Feili Neivul, Philadelphia as Outeon Eveldo, and Pittsburgh as Otfu Veitoup.

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