Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Apr 10 17:05:56 UTC 2006

On Apr 10, 2006, at 9:36 AM, sagehen wrote:

>> ... Maybe we
>> don't have peasants because we don't have villages...
>> Larry
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> But we *do* have villages in the US.  Up here in northern NY, and
> --for
> all I know -- elsewhere in NY,  "village" is the official
> designation of
> the smallest  jurisdictional unit, as opposed to "towns" which are
> what are
> called "townships" in many other parts of the country.  This was
> also true
> in Ohio.  Some, at least, of the north shore suburbs of Chicago
> were called
> "villages" when I lived there just after WWII, but that may have
> been an
> affectation...

similar cases have come up here from time to time.  what's at issue
here is a difference between technical/administrative/legal usages
and ordinary-language usages.  yes, there are jurisdictional units
labeled "villages" in several states, but no ordinary person resident
in one of these places would say that they lived "in a village",
unless the administrative designation was what's at issue.

the New York administrative usages produce some very odd results.
the Wikipedia entry for "Perry (village), New York" tells us that:

Perry is a village located mostly inside the Town of Perry in Wyoming
County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total
population of 3,945.
The Village of Perry is at the junction of Routes 39 and 246. A small
south section of the village is within the Town of Castile.


i looked up Perry because i have a friend who lives on a farm outside
it and owns a bookstore in town (as they say).   she does talk about
going "(in)to town" or "to the village", but when asked where her
bookstore is, she tells people it's "in a little town south of
Rochester", not "in a little village".


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