Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation, or What’s in a name?

(Originally written Friday, July 21, 2006)

I did a little research during my short time off, (that's right, you may not have noticed but there haven't been any Eighty-Four Glyde entries in awhile. I'm in a war, things came up). I did this research because I felt it important to answer some questions that have been rolling around my brain because, sadly, I've got nothing else to think about out here, (except delicious July Fourth sugar cookies.)

As I said, I'd been pondering on some stuff that I was ignorant about, and I wanted answers. So, I did the first thing I could think of, I went and asked my good and suspiciously made up-sounding scientist friend, Dr. Gooch. Sadly, he wasnt any help.

Me: Yo, Dr. G, I got some questions that I need answered, and you're just the man to do it!

Dr. Gooch: I don't think so douche, you still haven't paid me for my last two appearances on your stupid little blog. I mean, nobody even reads that damn thing! Why should I pimp out my obscenely vast scientific knowledge to something that's read less than a book in Anna Nicole Smith's house? (Dr. Gooch likes to keep his insults topical and relevant, just like me.)

Me: I think you misunderstood me Herr Doctor; there is information that I require of you and I shall get it, one way or another...(pulling out the blow torch and a pair of pliers)

Dr. Gooch: Screw you!

At which point the good doctor proceeded to run away. He sure is wily for an old man. So, I was left to do a little research myself.

The question? Who the hell was put in charge of naming the continents, the ocean and the very planet upon which we reside (Earth for those who might have forgotten)?

I mean, I know who America was named after. But why? Amerigo Vespucci was just some old world map maker. The kind of guy who, when he got confused as to how a shoreline looked, would just fill up the space with drawings of dragons and sea monsters and write "Here there be monsters." Could you imagine getting away with such shoddy craftsmanship these days? Microsoft can.

Have you ever wondered why its called Earth? (Unless theres a huge bong cloud around your head, I'm sure the answer is no.) And why did they call it that? Why not something interesting, like Superworld?

Anyway, it was with these questions in my head and the internet at my fingertips, that I decided to get off my lazy ass, (figuratively of course, I was still sitting on my lazy ass when I checked the computer. Hell, I'm sitting on it right now!) and find things out for myself.

What I found astounded me to my very soul!!! (I'm pretty much soulless and shallow )

After a quick and superficial, (15 minutes is all I'm willing to commit to this endeavor, in the name of science) search of two sites, (ask.com and wikipedia) I found absolutely nothing. Anybody surprised? I got plenty of info about the Latin, German and Olde English roots of Earth and every synonym you can think of, (like terra) as well as oodles of definitions. Yet nobody could say who chose to call it Earth, or why they picked such a mundane name. True earth, dirt, ground and terra all mean the same thing, but if that was the only criterion for naming, then all planets would have been named Earth, right?

Doesnt make sense to me, and I can't rely on Dr. Gooch to make up (I don't think he really knows anything and I don't even think he's a real doctor, to be honest) an answer, so I'm going to pose it to you: the readers. If anybody out there can give me a credible sounding reason, real or fake, as to why we live on "Earth" and not "Clitoris" or "Dirt" or something weird like that, then please feel free to write me with your answer. I'll even include it in another entry I do as a follow up, and, (are you ready for the lie?) you'll get a free Eighty-Four Glyde t-shirt! Hooray for knowledge!

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