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The "New" Hampshire

Saturday, January 03, 2009
As previously mentioned, I'm currently bumming around the great state of New Hampshire. One thing I noticed is that, sometime in last decade or so, the state issued a new run of license plates.

The old license plate:

old NH licence plate

The new license plate:

new NH licence plate

It struck me as I saw this that the new license plates emphasize the word "New" in "New Hampshire". In my mind, the word "New" has always been part of the title; it's a name, not a descriptor. I don't think of New Hampshire as the new one versus the old one.

Of course, this led me to think of other cases where the adjective has stopped being such for me. New York, New Mexico, New England... heck, even "Los" and "Las" have become part of the title for me, such Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Maybe it's just the way I think, where I see a group of letters and associate that with a place without putting meaning behind it. When I read, sometimes I'll come to someone's name that's going to be hard or bizarre to pronounce and, instead of trying to pronounce it, I'll just recognize that grouping of letters as the name for the person, without associating a sound with it. (When I hear it pronounced in conversation later I do a pretty good job of hiding my momentary confusion.)

Anyway, this all boils down to titles at some point. Is this "New Hampshire" now, or is this the new Hampshire? Does it even matter anymore?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know what's bad. First thing I noticed was that the new one was all numbers. My thought was "isn't that going to limit the number of plates they can have for this new run by a lot."

I also do the exact same name thing when reading. Interesting how we seem to do that.

12:07 PM, January 03, 2009  

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