Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Collingwood, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

The title of this post is paraphrased from English poet Elizabeth Barratt Browning's famous poem, "How do I love thee?".
And it's relevant because this post all started with this odd spelling mix on the one street sign (right).
You see, the streets of Byron Bay are named after poets (mostly).
Thus we have Keats, Shelley, Browning, Kipling, Burns, Jonson and so forth.
Mostly the names are Englishmen and one English woman, Browning herself, but two Australians made the cut, A.B. "Banjo" Paterson and Henry Lawson.
So I found this sign a little confusing, I checked with my fave search engines and Banjo's surname is spelled with one 'T', so what's going on with Patterson Lane?
Probably just one of those things, when the order came up to the sign writer he didn't know how to spell it and so bunged it down the same way his mate John Patterson spelled it.
I might add in my nerdlish way that Paterson is the ultimate in redundancy for a surname.
As Peterson means "son of Peter", Paterson is a latin-english amalgum and means "father's son", a self-evident truth if ever there was one.
Look, it's an Eastern Grey
Pater is latin for father, best known to most of us in the term, paternity suit, in which the biological father of a child is determined to the satisfaction of the court.
So a Paterson can say, "I am my father's son." 
And we can reply, "thanks for the update, can we get you on Mastermind, special subject 'the bleeding obvious'!"

But then the names of things here in Australia have been a fertile field for confusion and humour.
There is a story, now sadly lost to the mists of time that Kangaroo means, "I don't understand you" in the indigenous dialect of Sydney cove.
Apparently a settler asked a native, "What do you call that animal there?" and the indigenous local replied bemusedly, "Kangaroo".

Elsewhere in Byron we have Marvell st.
When I first saw this I thought for a heart-skippingly joyous second that the street was named for Marvel Comics, of which Spiderman is probably the most famous character.
However upon closer look I saw that Marvel comics is spelled with one 'L' and the street with two.
Turns out that the street was named for English poet Andrew Marvell, much less interesting in my opinion.
(And believe me, there is nothing in the history of the human race less interesting than a seventeenth century metaphysical poet. High school English teachers please note.)
So, sadly we don't have streets named after interesting characters like the Silver Surfer, but just think how cool would it be to live in Spiderman Street or Captain America Court?

Also here in Byron is this very minor confusion for map navigators.
The road sign (left) indicates that the beach was once owned by someone called Watego.
But the second sign (right) seems to be the correct spelling, having only gone in six months ago.
However, if you look really closely at the first picture you can see that the apostrophe in "Watego's" has been added later over the top of another letter, almost certainly an 'e', indicating that it was once spelt Wategoes.
So take your pick really, Wategos seems to be the correct spelling.
For now.

Then, all unknowingly, a sign war began, synchronised nicely with this post about street signs and confusion.
This sign (left) put up by a poor confused soul with limited intelligence and no friends, indicates that they are a supporter of the Richmond Aussie Rules team. 
I snapped this pic on Friday last week.
Then Saturday came and Richmond were beaten by Carlton and are out of the playoffs for this year.

And reflecting this was a new sign put up on Monday indicating that the putter-up of the original sign has gained a hundred IQ points over the weekend.
Tuesday lunchtime
Abandoning the now defeated Tiges, they have gone over to the mighty Swans, and have therefore some chance of enjoying the fruits of victory. I was particularly impressed with the wrapping of the 'give way' sign in red and white Swan livery, which in itself is largely couloured red and white.
I would also like to point out that if this "change-like-the-weather" sign writer starts supporting Collingwood, then telegraph poles will burn! 

Talk about pace of change.
Saturday lunchtime, Carlton gets involved.
Saturday afternoon, Carlton haters got involved.

But then the ultimate in street name confusion and road sign monkeyshines occurred in Swansea, Wales.
The local council asked for a sign to be translated into Welsh, which is the protocol to help keep Welsh an active language.
An email came back from the translator remarkably quickly and the text was sent down to the signage shed and the sign made, taken out and bolted into place on its required street.
Then the calls started from native Welsh speakers saying "did you check that translation properly?", turns out the Welsh reads: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."
The translator had gone on holidays and her email autoreply had been taken as the Welsh needed for the sign and duly put up.
If you don't want to take my word for it on the welsh translation, you can follow this link to the original story done by the BBC.

1 comment:

  1. All good Lock, except references to the Tiges which of course I chose to completely ignore. We live on the corner of Sansom Street in Bangalow, a name that has irked me since arrival. Even Google fails to offer any sensible hint or explanation for it's origin. How many times have I had to say...
    "No... it's S A NNN S O MMMM...."