Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/713

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695
CHEMICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL WORDS.

formerly called Great Pedee; Pittsburg (Pa.), without final h, this being really the official form of the city's name; Mohave instead of the Spanish form Mojave, and Blackwells Island in place of Blackwell's. Wood's Holl, the meaningless corruption of Wood's Hole effected by finical summer visitors, is not meddled with except to drop the apostrophe.

Among foreign names Colon has been adopted, to the exclusion of Aspinwall, Bermuda instead of The Bermudas, and Salvador (Central America) for San Salvador. The spelling Fiji is preferred to the now antiquated Feejee; Baluchistan has been adopted for Beloochistan; and a few other accepted spellings are Kaffraria, Chile, Haiti, Kamerun (Cameroon), Kashmir, Kongo, Puerto Rico, Sind (Sindh), and Tokyo.

The accepted forms are used by the Coast and Geodetic Survey, on its charts of the coasts of the United States; the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department, on the charts of foreign coasts that it publishes; the Geological Survey, which is making a mother-map of the United States; the General Land Office, which compiles from its plats maps of most of the States and Territories; and the Post-Office Department, which decides the names of all post-offices. They are used more or less also by nearly every other bureau of the General Government—in fact, wherever geographical names occur in all printing done at the Government printing-office.

The new forms are also coming into use rapidly among publishers of books and newspapers and the general public. The American Book Company, which furnishes the greater portion of the school-books used in this country, has adopted the decisions of the board for all its text-books on geography. Publishers of atlases and other geographical works generally are using them, so that in a few years it will be easy to tell that a map is old from the fact that the old forms of names are engraved on it. Many newspapers also, that have received copies of the first report of the board, have stated that they should follow it.

The good work of the chemists and geographers in the interest of simplicity and uniformity gives hope that similar changes may be made in other classes of words. Medical terms might come next. Few persons would be sorry to see the æ and œ replaced by e and the silent consonants omitted in "hæmorrrhage," "gynæcology," "æsophagus," "diarrhœa," "phthisis," "pneumonia," "rheumatism," "ptyalism," "psora," etc. There is a growing tendency toward such simplifications on all sides, and the direct efforts that are being made in this direction are only furthering the progress of a natural evolution. It has been said that we ought to wait for these changes until the natural process makes them; but if men want to put city streets and blocks where