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In addition to tree names states, Presidents, and the town or former
town the street will take you to are common sources of US street
names. Adam

On 3/19/10, Douglas Koller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> ----- "Philip Newton" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Something I was thinking of, possibly prompted by a throwaway comment
>> in the (extremely brief) section on Romansh in Lonely Planet's guide
>> to Switzerland: "The main street in villages is usally called Via
>> Maistra."
>>
>> That's true for eastern Graubünden, but in the centre, I've seen
>> Via/Veia/Voia/Voa Principala, along with the occasional Stradung ("big
>> road"), Mezvei ("middle of the village"? often part of a triplet
>> Dinvei-Mezvei-Sumvei), Veia Granda, or Via/Voa Nova. Via Principala
>> also seems to be in use in the west of the canton, along with Vitg
>> ("village") in smaller places, and I've seen Via Prinzipala in the
>> north-east.
>>
>> So the popular names seem to be "master road" and "principal road".
>>
>> As for natlangs, in German it'd probably be "Hauptstraße"
>> (etymologically, "head road", though "Haupt-" is better translated as
>> "main" in compounds, I'd say), with popular additional roads being
>> "Schulstraße, Kirchstraße, Poststraße, Bahnhofstraße" indicating roads
>> that contain (or, at least, did at one point...) the school, the
>> church, the post office, and the railway station, respectively.
>>
>> In Britain, the quintessential main road is the High Street; I imagine
>> that in the US, it's Main Street.
>>
>> What's it like in your concultures?
>
>> Something utilitarian like "Main/Principal Street"? Something less
>> transparent like "High Street"? Or do they all name their main streets
>> after the national hero, perhaps, so the main thoroughfare is "John
>> Smith Avenue"?
>
>> Also, do you have roads whose names indicate their status ("Cantonal
>> Road" is popular in parts of Switzerland for the main road where it's
>> one for which the canton is responsible for maintenance, and many
>> German places have a road called simply "Bundesstraße", i.e. "Federal
>> Road", for similar reasons)? Or their destination ("Othercity Road"
>> for the main road from here to Othercity - with the road then possibly
>> being called "Firstcity Road" once you're in Othercity itself)? Any
>> other common themes?
>
>> For that matter - do you even name your roads? Or do you instead name
>> (or number) blocks, like in Japan? Or use some even more unusual
>> system of addresses? (Perhaps geographical coordinates in Northings
>> and Eastings for each residence, completely independent of roads or
>> blocks?)
>
> Interesting questions which I *have* thought about for Géarthnuns, but for
> which I have not, as yet, any definitive answers. The Géarthnuns equivalent
> of "Hauptstraße" make me want to hurl. Naming after historical icons?
> Viable, but not loving it. American streets, as an example, can also take on
> names of trees and the like (Elm St., Oak St., Birch St., Blossom St.),
> which at first blush can sound kind of Zen-ny (which I like), but you can
> end up with things like, "Honeysuckle Lane", which is so twee as to make me
> barf. Maybe like the Taiwanese system, where the main grid has names but as
> you spread, you get into succursales "Alley 3", "Lane 7"? Still considering.
>
> Kou
>


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