The town of Portland in Oregon in the United States has a campaign to rename one of its streets after the sadly deceased writer Douglas Adams. For the man who told us that the answer to life the universe and everything was 42 it is apt that 42nd street is the one that has been designated to become Douglas Adams Boulevard. The organisers, Geek in the City along with the specially formed http://rename42nd.org/ have the following message on their website.

“Transforming 42nd Avenue into Douglas Adams Boulevard will reflect upon all those who live and work in the City of Portland.

It will reflect Portlanders’ commitment to the arts.

It will reflect Portlanders’ respect for the environment.

It will reflect Portlanders’ desire to provide technological access to all.

It will reflect Portlanders’ passion to further education to all people.

It will remind all Portlanders’ the most important lesson in times of uncertainty and fear…

…DON’T PANIC. “

What a great idea and a tribute to a superb writer and thinker. I heard the radio series, A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy way back in the late 70’s and have been a fan ever since. He was one of the few authors who could make me laugh out loud and I once embarrassed myself quite badly reading by a pool in Southern France and almost crying with laughter – it was from the ‘Long Dark Teatime of the Soul’ I think. One of his creations is ‘The Meaning of Liff’ with John Lloyd. This is a list of placenames which do nothing other than sit on signposts telling people where to go and have no other use so it’s quite apt that he may become one. They took these words and combined them with the hundreds of feelings, situations and objects which we all know and recognise but for which no word existed. So for example, if you were woking, you would be standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in for, or Gallipoli – the behaviour of the of lower lip when trying to spit mouthwash after an injection at the dentist. You’ll find hundreds more here.

So good luck to Rename42.org I hope you’re successful.

Advertisements