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Dictionary Project, Volume X: Porto Rico

The Dictionary Project is a post-a-day exploration of The Century Dictionary and Cylopedia, a twelve-volume set printed in New York in 1901. The Project runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, and matches volume numbers to calendar months. Volume X is The Atlas, and today is Day 8.

The spelling of “Porto Rico” followed by”(Puerto Rico)” on this map caught my eye. The first is how it was spelled in English, presumably, and the latter is the Spanish. This map obviously predates the realization that it’s unnecessary (and possibly insulting) to spell foreign words differently just because you feel the need to anglicize the pronunciation. Thank goodness there’s less of that now; certainly saves space on maps!

IMG_1875I have not been to Puerto Rico (or Porto Rico), but I’d love to. My husband has been, on business. He got to visit the radiotelescope at Arecibo, when he wasn’t working. And ate fried plantains, which he loved.

This map has another “oh that’s where that is!”; I always imagine Barbados being (a) more than one island, and closer to Bermuda and the Bahamas. Oh, the fictions we imagine in the absence of fact!

Which of these islands would you visit first?

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