What’s in a name?

We’ve heard a lot about street names and locations lately. There are moves afoot to change them because of their histories and how we’ve become more of aware of their activities.

There are so many names that are being questioned anymore.

Making these changes is going to be expensive but the argument is put forth that it’s worth it to get it right and not honour certain individuals by naming things after them.

Around here, the new high school will bear a new name because of the individual the old school was named after.

This is a fascinating area to research as the issues didn’t arise until long after their deaths and under a review by following generations.

Locally, there’s another name change about to happen. Matchette Road runs from Manchester Road in Windsor to Martin Lane in LaSalle.

I never thought much about it as a person who moved here. It was just a convenience road to take to and from my old high school if I wasn’t taking Malden Road.

What’s interesting about this is that now, we’re finding that the road is misspelled! There should be no E at the end. As a newcomer to the area, I just assumed that it was named after someone who had a French name. There is such a large French community in Essex County that it only made sense and I just assumed it.

I harken back to advice given to me so long ago. A name is the most important thing that a person owns so get it right. You can mess up on a lot of things but at least get the name right.

So, what do you do and how much will it cost to fix this? I thought the street signs would be easy; just get some green tape and cover the offending E. Leave it to individuals and businesses to change their addresses and letterhead. Make the change officially and let everyone adjust.

The lesson in all this, I guess, is to get it right the first time!


3 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Doug, your post really has me thinking here. Overall, with the examples you shared, I keep returning to, “know more, do better.” Will our current understanding and knowledge around these names and other ones, help with “getting it right the first time” in the future or will new learning lead to more changes too? I wonder … I do hope that we can do better. As these articles and other ones show, names have impact, even over time.



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