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The temptation for.. by BleckCra   (Show all posts)
2017-09-25 10:15:20
The perpetual anti
Ah BleckCra we do miss your commentary expressed as always eloquently and amusingly. You have excelled yourself in double entendre with regards to Slieve Meelmore on this occasion. We thank you for the chuckle. (For newcomers to MV, do have a look at BleckCra's founding of the Meelmore High Club at mountainviews.ie/summit/138/ )

But the persuasiveness of the substance depends on a willingness to proceed very quickly from the particularly humorous ants to the general where MV's ".. translation of Irish hill names .. remains ridiculous".

Where has MV, a hillwalkers' website, ever said MV is ".. the authority on and source for all things mountain in Ireland ". Take a look at our various guidelines, all online. Doesn't say that.

On the other hand while not claiming to be the Authority we do try to get things right. This isn't the first occasion BleckCra picked an example to try to imply the website is ridiculous ( if memory serves me right it was in connection with some border summit near the Dublin-Belfast road - Faughil perhaps ). Some time after that we introduced the public correction system. Yep, we fully accept we haven't got the data right for many summits or other places which is why MV has the "Propose Places Database Change" button. Since it was started in Nov 2014, over 300 corrections have been proposed. Many of these are about names. Almost all corrections have been accepted with a tiny minority lacking evidence or corroboration being rejected. Given we have had 300 corrections in 3 years we are quite sure we need to make hundreds more for the over 2200 places we list.

Place naming in Ireland is never going to be an exact science. History as a colonised country and the 19th century OS approach to establishing names using an Anglicised spelling ensured that. Various efforts to correct this from the official Logainm.ie with only partial coverage to various cartographers and local historians of uncertain academic vigour are only partly successful. So what to do? MV tends towards using official sources. We are also indebted to Paul Tempan for a serious academic approach to the issue. We also do various other things: allow up to 3 names per place each identified by language, and secondly allow users to choose to what extent they want Irish or English names where either are available.

As for the ants in our pants: Here are the notes for Slieve Meelmore: "The word míol, although often used of ants and other insects, is a generic term for animals of sorts. It can be applied to beasts ranging from grasshoppers to whales, though it is usually qualified by another word in these cases. Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg, further north in the Mournes, have a similar origin."

Correcting things

Something not correct in your view? Feel free to "Propose Places Database Change". Your proposal will be reviewed. Most will be accepted or sometimes added as an alternative.

For something like this suggested change for Slieve Meelmore that directly contradicts an existing and researched name derivation it would be a good idea to quote academic source(s) or locally knowledgeable Irish speakers (preferably more than the one that you can find that agrees with you). Not sure simply asserting however humorously that Meel or Miol phonetically sounds like Meall etc really cuts it. Upping the Ante: Less "flying by the seat of your pants" please.
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