Naming in A.D. 985

It’s true. Even waaaay back then, they knew that a name had to have appeal.

During my vacation reading, I came across Norway’s Eirk the Red, who had to flee his home country ‘because of some killings.’ Sailing west, Eirk came across a glacial frontier which he called ‘Greenland.’ His reasoning for calling this piece of wasteland which has no arable soil and is three-fourths sheet ice Greenland: ‘People would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name.’

Ah…truth in advertising (or lack thereof). No wonder people don’t trust marketing.

Source: A Voyage Long and Strange ” Tony Horwitz
(Buy HERE and support your local independent booksellers!!)

  • Whit

    Great example of using the unknown with a good name to entice people who don’t know any better. I see similar marketing for Myrtle Beach (self-named “America’s Beach Playground), then you get there and see its Senior Week for a bunch of random high schools and immediately regret the 9 hour drive.

  • http://brainsonfire.com Spike

    Whit, thanks for the comment. That makes me think that wouldn’t it be cool if there was a resource that let people know the nicknames that the locals give destinations? We call Greenville “Greevegas” (although some are petitioning for “Greenhattan”). And around here we call Myrtle Beach the “Redneck Riviera.”

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