In my neighborhood there is a residential street named Filament. When we were first house-hunting here I thought how humiliating, to have to have one’s address be on “Filament Street.” That is not bad at all, I have now discovered.
How would you like to live on Deny Court? I’m not sure if I’d prefer to live there rather than on, say, Pretentious Way. I’d like it better if it were Denial Ct–that is something I can get my mind around, and most people who live in houses have to be personally familiar with the attitude.
In any case, I’d consider it risky to look for a house to buy, in some of the areas of Greater Sacramento where these and other strange names for streets are found. I might fall in love with a house on Elude Ct., and if it were a bargain, I would feel a lot of pressure to sell my literary soul for it. Do good deals tend to come up more often on streets with names like Image, Essence, Adorn and Agree? Perhaps if the quality for which the street is name is positive, like Esteem Ct. or Acclaim Dr., the houses cost more, not less.
Are the houses on Pretentious Way really so? Or are the people who live in them? Perhaps the residents are only illiterate foreigners. Forgive me, but I really can’t imagine. Many questions present themselves, such as, What sort of qualifications does one need to be a street-namer? I suspect that the naming agency nowadays pulls words out of the dictionary by means of a computer database.
As I think about it, many if not most street names that we are used to are concrete nouns, or common or proper names after plants and people, places or events. When you start having words for intangibles, or verbs and modifiers, it is bucking the sensible tradition and causes confusion in the mind every time you turn into your lane.
I didn’t like it when streets in new developments were called “Mountain Ave” or such like, even though there was no elevation even in sight. But at least we know what a mountain is, and it is a simple concrete and neutral thing.
But to live on Proper or Refined or Benevolent: it does sound as though the street, or the houses– or the people?–are being described. I don’t like that. These are all the true names of real residential streets I am listing!
Streets with number or letter names should be considered more, if they are running out of ideas. The picture is of the road on which my childhood home was located, and it had a number for a name. But this is the age when a lot of people make up new names for their children, and perhaps that is the next thing to look for in street names. It will happen in California.
There are also streets named for general categories. The typical School Street or University Ave usually refer to a specific example that is nearby, but one doesn’t usually run across Savant Drive any more than you would see a street named for houses, students, or cars. We might just as well have a street named Avenue, though I didn’t see that one. I did see Component Way, which goes into the same pocket of my mind as Filament Ct.
This aspect of our culture is so vast and jumbled, I am getting more confused and bored as I ramble on. Let me just say that if have to move to Sacramento, the street I will look on is Clarity Court.