one day at a time…
Saturday, 28 February 2004

Pix Of The Day: Humpty Dumpty Name Change Snafus
CREDIT: © Phil Armitage/PhilArmitage.net
WHERE: Natural Bridges Nat. Monument, Utah, USA. WHAT: name change confusion.
MAPS: Blanding & Natural Bridges Nat. Mon. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Owachomo Bridge © Phil Armitage"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." ['Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll - Ch. VI: Humpty Dumpty.] One of the useful things about names, carefully considered and generally agreed names at least, is that they help to avoid confusion. From arbitrary name changing to confusion is but a small step.

Yesterday's feature, 'The Case Of The Missing Bridge', was an example of such confusion: the only pictures of what we knew as the 'Edwin Natural Bridge' that we were able to find were monochrome and taken around the early 1900s. Today we were able to see a modern color picture, from Phil Armitage's Natural Bridges National Monument page, of what we thought was named 'Edwin Natural Bridge', but only after we Googled this paragraph on Utah.com to discover our confusion:

"If early Indians named the bridges, then those names have been lost. Non-Indians first named them President, Senator and Congressman, in order of their height. Later explorers called them August, Caroline and Edwin. When the park was surveyed in 1909 the bridges were renamed: Sipapu is a Hopi term meaning place of original emergence; Kachina is named for nearby rock art which resembles the symbols often found on Hopi kachina dolls; Owachomo means 'rock mound,' a reference to a feature on the bridge's east side." So 'Edwin Natural Bridge' is now named 'Owachomo Bridge'.

Not only are there three bridges, but there have been at least two name changes! This national monument was the first to be established in Utah, and contains the second and third largest natural bridges in the world. Tomorrow we will visit the bridges and the surrounding area, using photographs, paintings, and virtual reality panoramas.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)