Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hey, Utah! Let's Skip The Fireworks This Fourth, Okay?

Look, folks, we've got 8 wildfires burning still.  Target shooting, BBQ, campfires, and fireworks are ALL a really, really bad idea when the ground is this dry.
PLEASE skip the fireworks this year.  Have a water fight instead.  Or decorate your bikes and go for a ride. Or do face painting.  Or read the Declaration of Independence.  Or feed the homeless.  Or have a picnic.  Just use common sense.


  1. Well said. I hope your fellow Utahians (?) take notice.

    1. Not that you'd need the word very often, but it's actually Utahns. Believe it or not.

    2. Really?? what a weird word :)

    3. Yeah, it is. The word "Utah" is -- I believe -- a Ute (Native American) word. I do know that it means "in the tops of the mountains," which is definitely fitting. I don't know who originally decided that "Utahns" was the correct term for the inhabitants of the state, but there you go.
      The original name of the area was "Deseret," given by the early Mormon settlers. It's from a story in the Book of Mormon and it means "honey bee." The idea was that the Mormon settlers were supposed to be busy and in harmony with each other. That was apparently true some of the time. :) This name has carried over a bit, as the state motto is "industry" and the state symbol is the beehive. Our nickname is also "the beehive state." Could be worse.
      And, yes, we're full of weird names. Everyone's favorite is the town of Tooele. It's pronounced "ta-WILL-a." Go figure. Then there's Hurricane (pronounced "hurican.") and Juab County ("joo-ab") and, of course, a fairly new town, Tickaboo. (They used to sell tee shirts there that read "Where the hell is Tickaboo?")
      A lot of places have Biblical or Book of Mormon names: Moab, Bountiful, Nephi, Lehi. And some have names for early settlers: Ogden, Heber. And a few have names that make sense: Salt Lake City IS near the lake, and Spanish Fork IS near a fork in the oldest paths, and the Spaniards actually DID make it that far in exploring the area in 1776.
      Still, with Maori words, I bet NZ has plenty of place names that sound odd to foreigners.

      PS. One of my favorite place names in Scotland was "Lookaboutye Brae." Hilariously practical, as it was a hill (brae) with a good view.