What’s In a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare

Newark Broad St Staion

I live in a suburb not far from Newark, NJ. I love the city. It’s making great strides for the better. It certainly has its share of problems, but things are getting better. Granted, I don’t have memories of the riots of ’67, they were before I was born (alright by one year, but still..). But I grew up when Newark was on some very hard times. What do you think those skywalk eyesores were for? Keep the workers off the streets. Great way to invest in the city eh?

In any event, Newark is happening now. Sure a lot of the action is in the city center (no “ward” here), but hopefully the change can resonate out to the adjoining districts (no “ward” here). But something has bugged me the last few weeks. In describing locations in the city, a variety of articles in the Ledger used the familiar “xxx Ward.” I’m sure this terminology goes back a long way. But to me it conjures images of smoke filled rooms and shady political deals. To a time when politicians wanted their areas to be literal wards – areas under guard or protection, presumably to the politician. Perhaps today’s politicians still want this, but I say it’s time for a change.

It’s time to do away with this phraseology. How about new names for the the five…wards (alright I had to) of the city? Newark is moving forward, shedding the negative images of its past. I say it sheds the “Ward” designation if for nothing more than a token gesture that the city is thriving again and doesn’t need anyone’s guard or protection. Newark is no one’s ward. Just semantics you say? I disagree. Especially given Newark’s history over the last few decades, I think changing the vernacular of Newark is critical to changing the way the region, the country and the world sees Newark . Thoughts? The Daily Newarker?

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One response to “What’s In a Name?

  1. Andy, point taken. I’ve never been a big fan of referring to the city districts as “wards”; they bring to mind images of prisons and insane asylums. Still, the city itself refers to these neighborhoods as wards, so we do too to avoid confusion:

    http://ci.newark.nj.us/Neighborhoods/Neighborhoods.htm

    Digging the blogroll, by the way. TechCrunch is a daily addiction, Calacanis is a personal hero, and I’ve been following 37signals ever since I signed up for a free Basecamp account some three or four years ago.

    Ken
    The Daily Newarker
    http://dailynewarker.co

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