Innovate or Adapt, but don’t Bastardize

The naming of towns and cities is an interesting thing. It is a hard thing to be truly innovative when naming a place, so names get re-purposed frequently. Sometimes towns are named after the place people came from (New York, New Jersey, etc..), sometimes they are named for famous people ( Maryland), and sometimes people seem to borrow names of famous places ( Paris, Tx). I really do not have anything against not being original and re-purposing names in this way, but if you are going to borrow a name, you can NOT just re-pronounce and think you invented something new. The midwest is rife with this practice and it is a small quiet pet peeve of mine. I may be smiling happily when you welcome me to your town, but it really does send a small little voice in my brain just screaming down the hall waving his hands over his head. Let me give you a few examples.

Just north of us there is the small town of Peru, In. That would be Pea-Roo, In thank you. Nice to have you visit. How about the small town south west of us, Russiaville, IN. Nice to have you visit us here is Rooshya-ville, IN. This is not just an Indiana thing- just yesterday I had a chance to visit the small town of Vienna, OH. Vye-enna, OH is full of friendly people.

What are we thinking? This does not make us look innovative or creative, it just makes us look unintelligent. Is this strictly a midwest phenomenon, or does it happen near you as well? I would love to hear yout tails of bastardized place names.