Chummy With a Saint
I talked about syllable minimization a couple posts back. Sometimes one can go too far with that.
Shadow Traffic‘s John Butterworth, on his morning reports on WHYY-FM, often refers to the St. Davids curve on the Schuylkill Expressway as “St. Dave’s Curve”. Really now, John, “St. Dave’s” — are you really that chummy with this particular saint?
Wikipedia’s article on St. Davids, Pennsylvania says this about the origin of the community’s name:
The community, on the Pennsylvania Main Line, was named for St. Davids Church, an 18th century church in the area that was in turn named for St. David, the patron saint of Wales (the country of origin of many of the area’s first European settlers).
Back in the sixth century, during which St. David lived most or all of us life, was Dave used as a nickname for David? The jury is out:
The oldest, most popular and most commonly-used diminutive form of “David” worldwide is “Dave”, which first appeared in written form in the sixteenth century (but is probably much older).
I mean, does this sound like the kind of guy who would answer to “Dave”? …
The Monastic Rule of David prescribed that monks had to pull the plough themselves without draught animals; to drink only water; to eat only bread with salt and herbs; and to spend the evenings in prayer, reading and writing. No personal possessions were allowed: to say “my book” was an offence. He lived a simple life and practiced asceticism, teaching his followers to refrain from eating meat or drinking beer. His symbol, also the symbol of Wales, is the leek.
I don’t think so. Anecdotal evidence, again from Wikipedia, shows how ridiculous it is to think otherwise:
The best-known miracle associated with Saint David is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi. When those at the back complained that they could not see or hear him, …
“Yo, Dave, didja ever hear of a stage and a PA system?!”
… the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill so that everyone had a good view.
Could a mere Dave execute such a miracle? I think not.
Cheech & Chong‘s take on Dave is probably closer to the mark:
If John Butterworth wants to dishonor St. David’s name by shortening the name by which he refers to a curve in the Surekill, it’s OK with me. Some humor-impaired Catholics or St. Davids residents might be offended I suppose. Maybe John will drop in here someday and let us know if he’s ever gotten any complaints.