Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 10 19:24:21 UTC 2006

>>From New England, I speak.
>At 4/10/2006 11:29 AM, Joanne wrote:
>>I believe that Danvers, Massachusetts was once called Salem
>>Village -- the Salem of the witch trials (not to be confused with the
>>modern-day city of Salem, MA).
>True.  And Paul Johnston wrote:
>>If I am not mistaken, in New England, the TOWNS are incorporated,
>>the villages are not, though they are referred to as villages
>>(unless they're cities).
>True of towns.   In political terms (I believe), towns have town
>meetings, either of all voters or of elected representatives, and are
>governed by selectmen (a good old word, invented by the
>Puritans);  cities have mayors and councils.
>I don't know about incorporation of villages; I think of them as
>localities, like Brookline Village (this one is definitely not more
>rural than the town it is in).
>And "Under a spreading chestnut-tree / The village smithy stands" was
>written of a quite central location in Cambridge, about two blocks
>from both the Common and Harvard Square.

...and if we don't have village smithies at this point, we still have
village idiots, not to mention allusions to idiots in search of a
village.  Nevertheless, and regardless of issues of incorporation one
way or the other, I continue to maintain (with Bolinger) that "He
comes from a village in Kansas" seems odd in a way that "He comes
from a village in Yorkshire/Saxony/Asturia" don't.  Not impossible,
though: I just tried googling and came up with

Of course, there'sa village in Kansas that is the proud home of the
world's largest ball of twine, but this really was something new.


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