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Tags Gina Raimondo , Rhode Island issues , Rhode Island politics

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Old 25th June 2020, 07:33 AM   #1
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Rhode Island to change it's formal name

Quote:
Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order announcing the state would move forward with changing its official name due to its ties to American slavery.

The state’s official name, “The State of*Rhode Island*and Providence Plantations,” appears on state documents. But the order would shorten it to just “Rhode Island”.

...

Harold Metts, Rhode Island’s only Black state senator, introduced the 2020 bill. He said: “Whatever the meaning of the term ‘plantations’ in the context of Rhode Island’s history, it carries a horrific connotation when considering the [country’s] tragic and racist history.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...vernor-slavery

Given the ignorance some people demonstrate it's perhaps unexpected that the article does not mention the actual original meaning of "plantation": it's an older English word for colony and had nothing to do with racism or slavery.
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:37 AM   #2
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I'm just sooooooooooooo sure that "The number of people who will now be upset about this, will call it virtue signaling, and start hand wringing over which names we have to change next" will not vastly outnumber the number of people who know that "Rhode Island" wasn't the state's full official name a week ago.
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:38 AM   #3
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Here's the Woodland Trust talkiong about plantations.


https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/tre...s/plantations/
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...vernor-slavery

Given the ignorance some people demonstrate it's perhaps unexpected that the article does not mention the actual original meaning of "plantation": it's an older English word for colony and had nothing to do with racism or slavery.
And gay can mean glad, carefree, wanton or homosexual.

What matters is how the word is actually used and understood today - not the words history. And I suggest in countries like Jamaica and the USA - to give 2 examples - the word is inextricably tied into slavery.
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:47 AM   #5
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Outside of the "Commonwealth" term a few states use instead of "state" Rhode Island does seem to be the only state I can find firm reference to having a longer "official" name or any other weird variation on how they are named.

But this is like something I mentioned the previously, the "Well technically a group of (so and so animals) is called a..." problem.

"A group of (Animals) is called a..."

No. No it isn't. No group of specific animals is called an anything.

If you see a bunch of one type of animal you are going to refer to using the same dozen or so at most handful of specific generic terms; herd, flock, pack, school, swarm, etc.

Nobody ever casually and organically in real life human conversations refer to a shrewdness of apes or a shadow of jaguars or a parliament of owls or a conspiracy of lemurs.

These terms literally only exist inside trivia lists about what groups of animals are called. A few outlier cases; like say "a murder of crows" do occasionally pop up but that's only because the term itself is unique and/or bizarre enough to lend itself to puns and wordplay, I still wouldn't call that organic uses of the terms in their so called proper usage.

And it's not a case of these being the "technical" terms not used by laypeople. There are 649 articles containing the word "Ape" in the archives of the Etymology and Zoology Journal. The world "Shrewdness" doesn't appear once.

Same thing here. No "Rhode Island" is not technically known as anything other than Rhode Island if the other name only comes up in the topic about it having another name.
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Old 25th June 2020, 07:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Outside of the "Commonwealth" term a few states use instead of "state" Rhode Island does seem to be the only state I can find firm reference to having a longer "official" name or any other weird variation on how they are named.

But this is like something I mentioned the previously, the "Well technically a group of (so and so animals) is called a..." problem.

"A group of (Animals) is called a..."

No. No it isn't. No group of specific animals is called an anything.

If you see a bunch of one type of animal you are going to refer to using the same dozen or so at most handful of specific generic terms; herd, flock, pack, school, swarm, etc.

Nobody ever casually and organically in real life human conversations refer to a shrewdness of apes or a shadow of jaguars or a parliament of owls or a conspiracy of lemurs.

These terms literally only exist inside trivia lists about what groups of animals are called. A few outlier cases; like say "a murder of crows" do occasionally pop up but that's only because the term itself is unique and/or bizarre enough to lend itself to puns and wordplay, I still wouldn't call that organic uses of the terms in their so called proper usage.

And it's not a case of these being the "technical" terms not used by laypeople. There are 649 articles containing the word "Ape" in the archives of the Etymology and Zoology Journal. The world "Shrewdness" doesn't appear once.
This is off topic, but I find this odd. Of course these are the names of groups of stuff. By the same power that dictates what every other word means - people agree that's that what they mean.

To pretend that it's not the case just because it's not 'official' in some way I find odd.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...vernor-slavery

Given the ignorance some people demonstrate it's perhaps unexpected that the article does not mention the actual original meaning of "plantation": it's an older English word for colony and had nothing to do with racism or slavery.
My guess is the name change has been advocated for a long time, just because no one ever calls the state by that name. It's more one of those trivia questions, an historical curiosity that the smallest state has the longest name. In actual practice, it's always just "Rhode Island", which is kind of interesting because it isn't on an Island, and no one knows the origin of the name.

However, I do find it a bit irritating that the name change is prompted by people who don't understand the meaning of words, but figure there must be something wrong with it because elsewhere that word was used to mean something entirely different. "I don't understand what you said, but it sounds bad!" is an unfortunate way to shape public policy.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:04 AM   #8
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:09 AM   #9
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Yawn.

Personally I have a bigger issue with "Providence" than Plantation.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:11 AM   #10
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It honestly sounds like something that might be dragged out by a Freeman On the Land. "This document says that I owe taxes to Rhode Island, but there's no such state. It's "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations". Unless I get a document from them, I'm ignoring these demands."
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:14 AM   #11
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I have a bigger issue with the use of the apostrophe in "it's". It should be "its", although given the ignorance some people demonstrate I suppose it's not unexpected.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And gay can mean glad, carefree, wanton or homosexual.

What matters is how the word is actually used and understood today - not the words history. And I suggest in countries like Jamaica and the USA - to give 2 examples - the word is inextricably tied into slavery.
You've convinced me, Rhode Island shall be renamed to Gay Island.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Given the ignorance some people demonstrate it's perhaps unexpected that the article does not mention the actual original meaning of "plantation": it's an older English word for colony and had nothing to do with racism or slavery.
Oddly enough, Rhode Island "played a leading role in the transatlantic slave trade."

https://www.brown.edu/Facilities/Joh...ibSlavery.html

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Old 25th June 2020, 08:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You've convinced me, Rhode Island shall be renamed to Gay Island.
Rhodey McRhodeface
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Rhodey McRhodeface
Too late, now that I've suggested it, not naming it Gay Island is homophobic.
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:15 AM   #16
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It's not an island. A more accurate name would be "South Massachusetts." Also, there's already a Gay Island in Maine.

https://mapcarta.com/22275946

I would propose instead "Gay Underbelly of Massachusetts."
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:29 AM   #17
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Plantation in America has a deeply unfortunate nuance which isn't actually in its literal meaning, but it's what everyone calls to mind when you mention the word.

It's not all roses over the pond either as the plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s is the policy which parcelled out land there to British Protestants and led us eventually to the troubles of Northern Ireland.
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
It's not an island. A more accurate name would be "South Massachusetts." Also, there's already a Gay Island in Maine.

https://mapcarta.com/22275946

I would propose instead "Gay Underbelly of Massachusetts."
On my map all that's blank space with the words "Here be Yankees".
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm just sooooooooooooo sure that "The number of people who will now be upset about this, will call it virtue signaling, and start hand wringing over which names we have to change next" will not vastly outnumber the number of people who know that "Rhode Island" wasn't the state's full official name a week ago.
I actually did know that was the name, though had pretty well forgotten about it until I saw the post. I am firmly in the "don't give a **** either way" camp on this one.

ETA: On further consideration, count me in the "for" camp for reasons of brevity, and making the official name match what everyone calls the state anyway, as much as for whatever negative connotation the word "plantation" may have. I would guess that, never in the 300+ year history of the state and its predecessor colony, has anybody used its full name outside of official documents or speeches. It's a name the cries out to be shortened.

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Old 25th June 2020, 10:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
It's not an island. A more accurate name would be "South Massachusetts." Also, there's already a Gay Island in Maine.

https://mapcarta.com/22275946

I would propose instead "Gay Underbelly of Massachusetts."
IIRC, there is an actual Rhode Island somewhere of the coast that's the reason that "Rhode Island" is part of the former official name. Besides, it's not South Massachusetts; it's East Connecticut.

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Old 25th June 2020, 10:31 AM   #21
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New England is one state. If you all have to share one Football team, you're one state.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:34 AM   #22
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It was a Jeopardy final answer many years ago--what state had the longest name. They'll have to be sure to pull that episode from any streaming service.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:43 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
It was a Jeopardy final answer many years ago--what state had the longest name. They'll have to be sure to pull that episode from any streaming service.
Smallest state, biggest name. It seems a certain symmetry has been lost.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Plantation in America has a deeply unfortunate nuance which isn't actually in its literal meaning, but it's what everyone calls to mind when you mention the word.

It's not all roses over the pond either as the plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s is the policy which parcelled out land there to British Protestants and led us eventually to the troubles of Northern Ireland.
Yup: both the Strange Woman across the table and I have Lowland Scots Protestant transplanted to Ulster ancestry. In both cases some wandered back to to North East England - I kinda assume mine had something to do with the Marquess of Londonderry being a major land owner over there and in Co Durham.

Many words are freighted with meaning...

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Old 25th June 2020, 10:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
New England is one state. If you all have to share one Football team, you're one state.
On behalf of all New Hampshiremen, I shall have to call you out on the Field of Honor! Super Soakers loaded with New Hampshire Maple Syrup at ten paces!
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Old 25th June 2020, 11:14 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You've convinced me, Rhode Island shall be renamed to Gay Island.

If Oriel College is getting rid of Rhodes, getting rid of a single Rhode shouldn’t be too much to ask for.
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Old 25th June 2020, 11:26 AM   #27
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The state had a referendum on changing the name ten years ago. It was decisively voted down.

This time around, the "hey we already voted on that, no second bite of the apple" segment (voting no) will far outnumber the people who actively do (voting yes) or don't (voting no) want the change.
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Old 25th June 2020, 11:49 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
I have a bigger issue with the use of the apostrophe in "it's". It should be "its", although given the ignorance some people demonstrate I suppose it's not unexpected.
Much as I disagree often with Arcade22, he's from Sweden. I assume English is his second language, or at a minimum, one of two languages he speaks.

And it's an easy typo.

Your criticism is flawed.
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Old 25th June 2020, 03:33 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And gay can mean glad, carefree, wanton or homosexual.

What matters is how the word is actually used and understood today - not the words history. And I suggest in countries like Jamaica and the USA - to give 2 examples - the word is inextricably tied into slavery.
I guess anyone called Gaylord should be encouraged change their name then, since people might take offence...
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Old 25th June 2020, 03:49 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
My guess is the name change has been advocated for a long time, just because no one ever calls the state by that name. It's more one of those trivia questions, an historical curiosity that the smallest state has the longest name. In actual practice, it's always just "Rhode Island", which is kind of interesting because it isn't on an Island, and no one knows the origin of the name.

However, I do find it a bit irritating that the name change is prompted by people who don't understand the meaning of words, but figure there must be something wrong with it because elsewhere that word was used to mean something entirely different. "I don't understand what you said, but it sounds bad!" is an unfortunate way to shape public policy.
It's not a twerking of Isle of Rhodes? Just kind of assumed so
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Old 25th June 2020, 03:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
It's not a twerking of Isle of Rhodes? Just kind of assumed so
It might be from "roads" in the oldtimey nautical sense, as RI was a big shipping area. Like "Hampton Roads" in Virginia.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:05 PM   #32
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My favorite thing to do as a teenager was to take people to the Cornell Plantations, walk them around, take in the beauty of the place, and then say "It's great, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it really is."
(Tossing a cigarette to the ground, extinguishing it with a heel, and grimacing) "Slaves built this."

Anyway, I like to think I'm more more mature now.

I like to think that.

I guess they changed the name to the Cornell Botanic Gardens a few years back. The word has some bad connotations, for some reason.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:08 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
I guess anyone called Gaylord should be encouraged change their name then, since people might take offence...
If they were born in the last 50-60 years or so, they should be encouraged to change their name because their parents were dumb jerks.

Names go in and out of favor all the time. "Gaylord" has been out of favor for a very long time.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:09 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
My favorite thing to do as a teenager was to take people to the Cornell Plantations, walk them around, take in the beauty of the place, and then say "It's great, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it really is."
(Tossing a cigarette to the ground, extinguishing it with a heel, and grimacing) "Slaves built this."

Anyway, I like to think I'm more more mature now.
I certainly hope you at least use ashtrays.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
My favorite thing to do as a teenager was to take people to the Cornell Plantations, walk them around, take in the beauty of the place, and then say "It's great, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it really is."
(Tossing a cigarette to the ground, extinguishing it with a heel, and grimacing) "Slaves built this."
In all likelihood, slaves also built the tobacco company that made that cigarette.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In all likelihood, slaves also built the tobacco company that made that cigarette.
I don't smoke, don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 25th June 2020, 04:59 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
It's not a twerking of Isle of Rhodes? Just kind of assumed so
Actually, in Ancient Greek the word "Rhodes" or "Ρόδος" meant "to twerk" or to "shake your booty." So Rhode Island should be renamed "Twerk Island" or "Booty Island."
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Old 25th June 2020, 05:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
I guess anyone called Gaylord should be encouraged change their name then, since people might take offence...
Anyone named "Gaylord" should change their name to "Weedlord."
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Old 25th June 2020, 05:14 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Actually, in Ancient Greek the word "Rhodes" or "Ρόδος" meant "to twerk" or to "shake your booty." So Rhode Island should be renamed "Twerk Island" or "Booty Island."
Motion to translatet 'Island' as the Phonecian 'Licious'? Always wanted a State of Booty Licious
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Old 25th June 2020, 06:01 PM   #40
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If we’re going to change the name anyway...
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