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DECEMBER 2014
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Take 5
Dec. 20, multiple start times. Dress in your most fun holiday attire and jingle bells to join this festive 5K run or family fun walk along Pittman...   
Dec. 4-20, Thu-Sat 8p; Sun 2p. (Special Dec. 20, 2p. No performance Dec. 5.) It’s the story of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, told in the...   
Dec. 20, 7p. Two of Las Vegas’ most critically acclaimed vocal groups, Fifth Avenue and Dangerous Curves, join forces to bring you a holiday...   
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This April 2013 New Yorker piece by John McPhee, “Draft No. 4,” purports to be about how to get over writer’s block. It has some good advice. For instance, personalizing your audience can quell writing anxiety and reignite your enthusiasm for your subject:
You are writing, say, about a grizzly bear. No words are forthcoming. For six, seven, ten hours no words have been forthcoming. You are blocked, frustrated, in despair. You are nowhere, and that’s where you’ve been getting. What do you do? You write, ‘Dear Mother.’ And then you tell your mother about the block, the frustration, the ineptitude, the despair. You insist that you are not cut out to do this kind of work. You whine. You whimper. You outline your problem, and you mention that the bear has a fifty-five-inch waist and a neck more than thirty inches around but could run nose-to-nose with Secretariat. You say the bear prefers to lie down and rest. The bear rests fourteen hours a day. And you go on like that as long as you can. And then you go back and delete the ‘Dear Mother’ and all the whimpering and whining, and just keep the bear.”
The piece is also about the creative promise of digression. In fact, the entire article is one long tap dance of detours and deflections, as McPhee moves from the subject of writer’s block to his habit of consulting the dictionary for inspiration to flashbacks about his tete-a-tetes with the holy officiants of that fabled institution of the New Yorker’s copy editing department. One of McPhee’s digressions is into the subject of demonyms — that is, the name of the residents of a given city or country — which comes up when a New Yorker copy editor questions McPhee’s use of Manchesterians to name the residents of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Mary Norris wrote on the proof, “Would you like ‘Mancunians’?”
 
It was as if she had handed me a rare gold coin. Five years later, when I happened to be writing about lacrosse in Manchester, England, I worked in the word “Mancunian” three times in one short paragraph. It was the second-best demonym I’d ever heard, almost matching Vallisoletano (a citizen of Valladolid). The planet, of course, is covered with demonyms, and after scouring the world in conversations on this topic with Mary Norris I began a severely selective, highly subjective A-list, extending Mancunian and Vallisoletano through thirty-five others at this writing, including Wulfrunian (Wolverhampton), Novocastrian (Newcastle), Trifluvian (Trois-Rivières), Leodensian (Leeds), Minneapolitan (Minneapolis), Hartlepudlian (Hartlepool), Liverpudlian (you knew it), Haligonian (Halifax), Varsovian (Warsaw), Providentian (Providence), and Tridentine (Trent).
 
Say them to yourself. Wulfrunian sounds earthy but dignified with a touch of pomp — I sense coarse beards on ruffled collars. Minneapolitan seems to have about it a cheerful Saran Wrap of self-aware pretense — a striver who’ll still have a beer with you. Tridentine? Trent is nowhere near the ocean, but I’m quite readily seeing noble Poseidon-worshippers with wavy blue hair strolling through the dingy brick streets. 
 
It sent me on a digression, too, thinking about our own, comparatively impoverished demonym: Las Vegan. I don’t know what I get when I swish that around in my mind. It feels matter of fact, with a touch of desert dust and a hint, but only a hint, of Western swagger. But there’s no neon in it, no color, no bedraggled allure or even schmaltz. The same goes for Nevadan. It evokes a noncommittal rusticity, sketches the vague outlines of a some kinda-sorta Western figure who may or may not be a cowboy.
 
It makes you wonder whether we could do better, and whether doing better might result in some invisible uptick in our collective spirit or self-concept or something.
 
Vegasite No. We sound like a race of sentient mineral beings.
Vegan Uh, we are not a finicky, translucent people.
Veganite Sounds like a Power Rangers spinoff about heroes with high-handed dietary restrictions.
LVeans Too cute.
Elvees Clearly getting desperate.
Radiants A bit cornily self-affirming, but, hey, it does capture some things about Vegas. The -iants suffix mimics the adjectival convention of a demonym.
Vegapolitan Sounded good in my head, but ... no.
Vegano Like Angelenos, right? Okay, guess not. 
Veganians Like Californians, right? 
Vegusian Too cosmic, goofy
Sinians You know, from Sin City. Okay, maybe not.
Sinizens Citizens of Sin City? Maybe? Maybe in the year 2045 ... in a Michael Bay movie. 
Neonians From neon, but pronounced nee-OH-neans. I admit, I kinda like this.
Lavengian, Lavesian Here, I’m trying to conflate Las and Vegas in a loose, Wulfrunian kinda way, and then give it some demonymic backspin. Has a bit of lift and dignity to it, wouldn’t you say?
Lavengite Sounds like an ancient biblical tribe, or a Quaker offshoot, or a mineral. No.
Elvesian Pronounced el-VEE-zhian; brings in “LV” and a touch of Elvis, but looks too much like elves. 
Vegonian Doesn’t quite have the stiff whiff of, say, Varsovian, but I wanted to see what it looked like.
Vargovian Inspired by “Varsovian,” yes, it wanders a bit too far from its Vegas roots, but, wow, doesn’t it make us seem like a bunch of highborn baccarat sharps who’ve inherited a fallen world. Yes!


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Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
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PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
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UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
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CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
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THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
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THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
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MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
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CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
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TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
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PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
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PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
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TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
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BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
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BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
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Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
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SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
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MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
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NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
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CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
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WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
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ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
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