Sunday, 2 December 2012

Worst Place Name

Is this the worst place name you've ever seen? You would have thought that the local planners could have come up with something a little more elegant than Marray-sur-D943. What's wrong with Marray-sur-Indre -- all the other villages along this route are named something-sur-Indre, as the road runs parallel with the river. Nearby villages are called lovely lilting names like Preuilly-sur-Claise, Azay-le-Ferron, Chanceaux-pres-Loches or Joué-les-Tours. How come poor little Marray got lumbered with this terrible, unimaginative and unattractive name?

16 comments:

Tim said...

I think "Dolus the Dry" comes pretty close... or even Cussay... but I admit that this poor hameau needs to get a name change!

Tim said...

Unless of course... as in much of France by way of name originality... there is another "Marray sur..." and this hameau decided to "do different" as they say in Norfolk.

Tim said...

Or they just got fed up with people asking "Which road is this?"

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I agree Tim whenever we have a delivery we have to say D360. So ours should be 'Braye sur D360'

chm said...

I think the answer is in the graphics and the grammar. It is not Marray-sur-D943, it is Marray sur D943. The absence of hyphens means the name is Marray. And, by the way, it is on D943. That said, I think this is unfortunate, but, as Tim suggested, the locals were probably fed up with people asking where they were located.

Another thing: Joué-les-Tours. This is not the article ‘les’, but one spelling of the preposition ‘lez’, which means near to. Could be spelled also as ‘lès’. In my youth ‘les’ was spelled with an accent, as in Plessis-lès-Tours. Same idea as Chanceaux-près-Loches.

ladybird said...

Maybe it's just a clever way to save on road signs: the name of the village and the number of the road ... all in one? But I must admit that it isn't very 'sexy' or inviting. Imagine owning a gîte there and trying to attract tourists ;) Martine

Jean said...

The hyphen thing is interesting. Le Grand-Pressigny appears just as often with or without the hyphen, both on road signs and maps.
I presume the proper way is with.

I love the way village names include the river running through it.

Carolyn said...

I cannot top that footwear comment, but back to Marray.

I thought it sounded familiar. We've been through there and that tiny place is lucky it has a name at all. It's so small it's not even in the index to the Michelin road atlas, and they don't miss much (it is on the map, though).

chm said...

That footwear comment is a huge can of “SPAM, TM”, unless their plant is located in Marray, China!

Jean, with the advent of electronics and computers, the hyphen is loosing ground in France, even though it is an integral part of the language. My first name is hyphenated and I want to keep it that way in France. But whenever I ordered train tickets with SNCF, they said that their rules are to omit the hyphen. You can’t stop progress!

Susan said...

chm: I know les and pres should have an accent, but it's too much of a pain in the neck to do it when I'm using the laptop. I can do é easily enough, but all the other accented letters require bringing up Character Map, and I can't be bothered.

Fraussie Grouet said...

Yes, it is most unimaginative. I love place names too but I've always wondered about what it would like to be an Englsh-speaker living in Condom. Do you know what the inhabitants in Marray are called, i.e. their demonym - that's another fascinating area of the French language? While we're on the subject of signs, does anyone live in a town/village where there is a 50 kph sign just after the name of the village/town?

chm said...

Yes, Susan, I know. I think it is somewhat easier to put accents on letters where they belong with a American Mac laptop than an English PC laptop. This said, accents are an integral part of the language and make different words depending on they’re there or not. Of course, you have prés and près, but also les, lès and lés. The last three are three different words and omitting accents could be confusing. And so on... If you want to write correct French you’ll have to deal with accents whether you bother or not!

Carolyn said...

Do you know this website? It avoids the contortions required to create an accent on a non-French keyboard. You just type along in the box, clicking on a letter-accent as you need it. Voilà!

http://french.typeit.org/

Tim said...

There is no problem with accents...
Fn Alt 0232 = è
Fn Alt 0233 = é
etc.. learn the numbers and use the keys.
Charmap has the Keystroke Alt numbers on the right hand side at the bottom.
The main list is:
0224 - à
0225 - á
0226 - â
0230 - æ
0231 - ç
0232 - è
0233 - é
0234 - ê
0235 - ë

0176 is the °symbol as in °C or °F

Or do what I've done and create a blogaid file of accents, <a href, etc.... and cut and paste.


Susan said...

Tim: That doesn't work on our laptop. I have no problem with using keystrokes on the big computer, where I have a keyboard with a numpad.

Carolyn: I'll check out the website, but if it involves cutting and pasting I might as well go to the effort of using Character Map.

Fraussie: Not sure exactly what you are getting at. The speed limit is implied by the town sign and any further signs are merely reminders. I don't think speed limit signs next to the town sign are allowed. Some places have the reminders placed fairly close to the town sign though.

I don't know what the residents of Marray are called.

chm: I know -- I'm just being impatient and lazy. It wouldn't happen if it was the proper name of an insect, but there are limits :-)

chm said...

Susan, LOL