Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more

Navigational Emphasis

For the most part, navigating around Salt Lake City is a peice of cake, compared to some places. The city is laid out in a grid system, with major streets running North-South and East-West at a certain distance from the center of the city, Temple Square. So if you want to find an address, the easiest way is to give it's coordinates, and worry about street names later. Not all the subdivisions are mapped in straight lines like that, of course. Land claims, zoning restrictions, landform anomalies, and so on and so forth dictate that individual roads curve as necessary. But the main roads make it easy enough to navigate to a zone and go from there.

In the subdivisions, though, things aren't so simple. And my example today comes from the area around the city capitol, directly northeast of Temple Square. A roomate and I had to navigate there this last night to get some stuff. It took us a while to find the address we needed to go to because we ended up turning down the wrong road initially. Driving down narrow alleys, dead ends, and steep hills trying to backtrack and start over took up a fair amount of the trip time. However, the most unusual part of the trip was a couple of the roads.

This was a pair of roads, running parallel to each other going North-South (I believe, I didn't know what direction I was going by the time we got back out of there and onto State Street, so I might be wrong). There was about 50-60 feet separating the roads, not any houses in between them I believe just parkway. But the real problem was in their names. They both had the same name: Canyon Road.

But they didn't quite have the exactly same name. As I looked at it, there was a difference. One of the two roads, the East one (presuming they went North-South, as mentioned above), was spelled in capitals: CANYON ROAD.  All the signs I saw indicated this, one as "Canyon Road" and one as "CANYON ROAD", leaving me wondering how they determined that road naming. One of the two roads more important or something? Or was the surveyor standing in the same place and the person giving the names had to shout from the far road and so they decided to name it accordingly.

Date posted: 06 April, 2009
Tags: anecdote personal travel typography
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