Friday, June 21, 2013

What Not to Name Your Steamboat

During my first year of college, I worked at our school library’s Special Collections and Area Research Center, where we specialize in (you guessed it) steamboats. Our steamboat collection “consists of over 40,000 photographic images of steamboats on the inland waterways of the United States, primarily the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers and their tributaries.” 

More than a few times my job required me to pick through these stacks of old steamboat photographs to see if we had a particular shot of a particular steamboat in a particular place, which is even less interesting than it sounds, I assure you. However, my exploits into the world of steamboats did alert me to a pressing problem: people are very unoriginal in the naming of their steamboats. This creates more work for me because if there are five different steamboats named Queen, then I have to go through five times as many folders to find the right photograph. 

Therefore, I have decided to make a list of overused steamboat names so that future steamboats can be spared the ignominy of having a repeated name. You’re welcome, steamboats.

What Not to Name Your Steamboat:  
(These examples are names of actual steamboats.)
  •   Anything with “Queen” in it
-          Queen
-          Island Queen
-          Queen of the Mississippi
-          Queen City
-           American Queen
  •   Anything with the Name of a City in it
-          Cincinnati
-          City of Parkersburg
-          City of Owensboro
-          City of Alma
-          City of Alton
-          City of Baton Rouge
  •   Anything with “Belle” in it
-          Belle of the Bends
-          Belle of the Coast
-          Belle Vernon
-          Bayou Belle
-          Belle Creole
-          Belle of La Crosse
-          Exception: Belle of the Golden West (because Jacky Faber is an exception to everything)
  •   The Name of a State
-          Wyoming
-          Indiana
-          Alabama
-          Alaska
-          California
-          Colorado
  •   A Girl’s Name
-          Susan
-          Anna Lee
-          Sarah Edenborn
-          Elsa Marie
-          Betty Jean
-          Grace Devers
-          Elizabeth

Awesome Steamboat Names:
(These examples are completely made up.)
  •   The Name of Your Favorite Lord of the Rings Character
-          Samwise the Brave
-          Gandalf the White
-          Peregrin Took
-          Lady Galadriel
-          Legolas Greenleaf
  •   Any Spell from Harry Potter
-          Alohomora
-          Diffindo
-          Expecto Patronum
-          Riddikulus
-          Wingardium Leviosa
  •   Any Color plus Any Mythical Creature
-          The Violet Phoenix
-          The Silver Centaur
-          The Amber Nymph
-          The Puce Gargoyle
-          The Lavender Leprechaun
  •   Awesome Alliterations
-          Dangerous Dave’s Dinghy
-          Ray’s Rusty Rig
-          The Beastly Barge
-          Vanity Vessel
-          The Courageous Craft
  •   Names in Foreign Languages
-          Don Quixote (famous Spanish book)
-          Amore (Italian for “love”)
-          Kuroshitsuji (Japanese for “Black Butler,” good manga)
-          Monsieur (that’s all the French I’ve got)
-          Wienerschnitzel (German deliciousness)

I hope this post has assisted all of the people who I know are struggling with the naming of their steamboats. I wish you luck. Please don’t take too many pictures.

On an unrelated note, I have only read ten books so far this year, which means that I must admit an early defeat in my goal of reading fifty. I still have hope for reading thirty-five books though, since the summer is young and that’s when I read the most. With busy friends and not enough hours at work, I should have plenty of time to read and (hopefully) to blog. No promises!

PS - I wanted to include a couple steamboat photos in this post, but I’m not allowed to do that because the images “cannot be copied or reproduced without the permission of the University.” Instead, please enjoy this picture of an alligator with a turtle on its head that I saw in Florida.