Thursday, April 14, 2011

Call us Legend County?

It's named for a river that was named for salt licks.  Licking County, before the days of Internet search engines and Google, was a name that got a few snickers here and there.  However, a proud, successful history masks an otherwise odd name.

Today, we can hardly say that.  Our history and pride are no less successful.  However, today, the Internet age commingles some double meanings with our county's name.  It's happening whether we want it to or not.

Though the search engines have improved in recent years to put true Licking  County content at the top of the search for "Licking County," social media has not been as kind.

I cringed when I heard an industry site location advisor say that her firm uses Twitter to search for information about a community and to give their clients a sense of what's going on there.

I cringed because I have a Twitter search feed that shows me the most recent posts on Twitter that mentions the words Licking and County.  I offer the feed below with a "caution" disclaimer.

Just one example.  Travelers along Interstate 70 can say the wildest things when they first encounter that county name sign.  When they said it to each other in a passing car, that was no big deal.  Now, what they say is being seen by the World and archived every second by the Library of Congress.  Yikes!

I once heard the suggestion of changing the county's name.  I scoffed then, but now I wonder, out loud, whether it is worthy of being a serious topic of debate.

The idea from this one prominent individual was to rename our county to Legend County.  The Chamber of Commerce effort to call our area the "Land of Legend" took off once and still has some staying power. 

It's got some pragmatic value too.  In the list of 88 Ohio counties, Legend County would be number 45, between Lawrence and Logan.  That's exactly where Licking County sits now so we wouldn't have to change out ours or any other county's license plate numbers. 

It has just as much pragmatic reasons not to do it too.  Think of all the mapping, signage, web domain names, and business names that would be made instantly obsolete.

Think of all those misquided search engines searches and Twitter messages that would go away though.


The Twitter feed below is via Hootsuite.  Careful.  Though I told the feed to block profanity, it's still not for everyone's consumption.

1 comment:

  1. It would increase the time for genealogists and historians who would have to search for records under the new name but would continue to search under the old name. We also have to search for pre-1808 records in your parent county. (Licking County was formed out of Fairfield County in 1808)
    Besides any new name might take on some different meaning in another hundred years.