Monday, April 10, 2017

There Are Just Too Many Palms

You'll doubtless recall all that business about renaming Palma de Mallorca Palma. It currently is just Palma, until it gets changed back when the Partido Popular get in. One reason, one very good reason, for maintaining the "de Mallorca" is to avoid confusion, and don't they just know about this in La Palma in the Canary Islands.

In the Canaries, there is also Las Palmas, and the different variants of Palma(s) have caused any number of headaches for those living in La Palma. Not just the island's residents. According to a Canarian parliament deputy, a British couple ended up in La Palma, having believed that they were in fact travelling to Palma (de Mallorca).

Because of this, the Canarian tourism, culture and sports commission has asked the Canarian government to study a solution to avoid the confusion. Place-name analysing toponymy experts are inevitably being dragged in, because they always are when such matters surface.

And what might the solution be? Who can possibly say? La Palma de las Canarias wouldn't be much use because of the confusion with Las Palmas. Here's a thought, though. Why not change it to English? The Palm.

No, they'd never accept that. And strange how, when you put it in English, it doesn't have anything like the same exotic quality. Confusion, one fancies, will endure.

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