Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Geographical Prefix

I found this postcard book from the 1940's (at least I think that is the time period, but since the date was written in those "sophisticated" Roman numerals MCMXLIX, I could be off a century or two) in some of the momentos my parents had saved. When I saw it included Rock Island, I paid more attention, since I had learned about Rock Island from a previous find (see The Cutting Edge post). I noted the names of the three cities, so I was a little confused when I learned of a meeting that was going to be held in The Quad Cities. I was told that Quad Cities referred to Rock Island, Davenport, and some others the person could not remember. Since I have a rather unconventional way of determining where I want to travel to (for example, I purchased a black and white checkered sweater that made me want to travel to the Indy 500 annual race. The sweater was about thirty dollars---riding to the Indy 500 on the Harley---priceless!) Anyway, I made it to the conference in the "Quad Cities" and found out, the term refers to the three shown in the postcard above, but now Bettendorf, Iowa brings up the rear to make it a foursome. But there were rumblings that the city of East Moline ACTUALLY is a fifth member of the group, even though there has not been a change in the prefix. If such changes occur about every fifty years as the postcard would suggest, then around 2050, the tourism marketing for the area will be billed as the "Quin Cities". Then, with progress and another fifty years, the sixth city will be added, and the terms will be none other than the "Sex Cities" (as in sextuplets, of course, not the typical meaning for the word sex). So this will present a real dilemma for the powers to be in the area of tourism promotion. Will they just skip "sex" and revert to each city marketing itself? The problem with this, is all the "cookies" they would miss out on with those internet search engines. If an adventurous computer user typed in "Sex Cities" (with no intent of finding out about museums along the Mississippi River), imagine the "hits" the website would get! Their marketing statistics would go through the roof! I will be long gone by the time all this happens, but it is interesting to consider!
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