Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A mineral claim that's excessively global in scope?


Back when I was a kid playing "20 Questions," things were "animal, vegetable or mineral." Little did I know that before 1820, the choice was only between "animal" and "vegetable," as "mineral" had apparently not been dicovered yet.

This sign, photographed in Mineral Point, WI on Memorial Day, illustrates a problem opposite to the one so valiantly publicized by The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Sometimes you need the quotes. Perhaps the Quote Blog could donate a few of their unneeded quotation marks -- which, in any event, are restored here:
During the 1820s, prospectors were swarming over the hills of Southwestern Wisconsin looking for lead. After lead, or "mineral," was discovered here, a "lead rush" began and the mining camp that formed around the diggings eventually was called Mineral Point. Tradition dates permanent settlement by Europeans to 1827.
The Mineral Point sign makers could have avoided the problem by citing the actual mineral in question -- the lead ore called galena. But that would have meant promoting the name of a rival town 42 miles to the southwest that has been more successful in turning its pioneer lead mining history into a tourist magnet, Galena, IL. Plus, the latter has Ulysses S. Grant's home.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

You're still blogging! That's great! Do you need any more exclamation marks? I'm a bit short of quotation marks.