Proposed dual name clumsy and meaningless

LETTER

Why give a beautiful region an ugly name? Should the proposed dual name come into being, we would have to live with the ridicule of something both clumsy and meaningless.

A five-word group in which two words are separated by a slash, Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay, could be read by logic-minded newcomers as Turanganui a Kiwa Bay, or alternatively Turanganui a Poverty Bay. Then our poor sense of both languages would be a laughing-stock, and we would encapsulate all the negatives — poverty, indecision and disunity — in one ill-conceived package.

Even if the cumbersome compound was wanted, we should remember that across the world, and in the way we make up surnames at home, compound names tend to use the humble hyphen, not the senseless slash.

With luck the NZ Geographic Board will pick up on these simple points that have escaped the council, The Herald and the public.

The trendy slash, or solidus, actually has no solid grammatical meaning. It drifted from arithmetic into language in the conjunction “and/or,” where it would be messy to say “and or or.” Its implied meaning is or, not and. Separation, not combination. In arithmetic it means division. It has become common for lazy writers who cannot think of the right word.

The clear way to hang on to both names is true to their roots and to history.

Turanga means ground, and bay means water, so the bay can be so named, meeting navigational requirements, and the land can be the picturesque (and original! Who’s complaining about a change?) Turanganui a Kiwa. This would satisfy the majority of people. Best of all, it would slash the slash.

Gavin Maclean

Why give a beautiful region an ugly name? Should the proposed dual name come into being, we would have to live with the ridicule of something both clumsy and meaningless.

A five-word group in which two words are separated by a slash, Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay, could be read by logic-minded newcomers as Turanganui a Kiwa Bay, or alternatively Turanganui a Poverty Bay. Then our poor sense of both languages would be a laughing-stock, and we would encapsulate all the negatives — poverty, indecision and disunity — in one ill-conceived package.

Even if the cumbersome compound was wanted, we should remember that across the world, and in the way we make up surnames at home, compound names tend to use the humble hyphen, not the senseless slash.

With luck the NZ Geographic Board will pick up on these simple points that have escaped the council, The Herald and the public.

The trendy slash, or solidus, actually has no solid grammatical meaning. It drifted from arithmetic into language in the conjunction “and/or,” where it would be messy to say “and or or.” Its implied meaning is or, not and. Separation, not combination. In arithmetic it means division. It has become common for lazy writers who cannot think of the right word.

The clear way to hang on to both names is true to their roots and to history.

Turanga means ground, and bay means water, so the bay can be so named, meeting navigational requirements, and the land can be the picturesque (and original! Who’s complaining about a change?) Turanganui a Kiwa. This would satisfy the majority of people. Best of all, it would slash the slash.

Gavin Maclean

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lloyd gretton - 9 months ago
Papa means ground. Turanga means standing. This is really a recognition of a particular rangatira's story. Couldn't read the article of council giving new name. The settler history is being slowly destroyed, symbolised recently by the mystery of the Endeavour replicas. Councillor Malcolm MacLean has the courage to oppose Poverty Bay being an afterthought and then, I predict, lopped off. An example of how revising history divides families? As a historian and political observer, I know this marks a real power shift. Will this awaken the Gisborne lotus eaters?

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