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What's in a Name?
Reviewed by Nicole Winstanley
Place names reveal a lot about a nation. They offer an intriguing
glimpse of its culture, heritage and people. In Alan Rayburn's Dictionary
of Canadian Place Names, a fascinating tale unfolds about how
the many places that make up Canada came to be.
The dictionary format serves as a practical arrangement for the
information, establishing it as an accurate and convenient resource
for editors, journalists, researchers and students. This is not
to say that Rayburn's numerous entries cannot be read simply for
pleasure. Despite the minimalist style, each entry provides its
own captivating tale. Consider his description of the beginnings
of Ladysmith, British Columbia:
Rayburn's entries, while concise, are not overwhelmed by difficult abbreviations and the format of his index is simple and easy to use. The Dictionary of Canadian Place Names offers all Canadians insight into both their history and their diversity.
Nicole Winstanley is a production assistant for Sources.
Published in Sources, Number 41, Winter 1998.