Cambridge Rindge and Latin

In the news recently (thanks to the Boston Marathon bombing), the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (thanks to Dzhokhar Tsernaev’s having gone to high school there), with a name that strikes many non-locals as rather odd: Rindge and Latin, coordinated in the name, are indeed both nouns, but they aren’t semantically parallel: Rindge is a family name, Latin the name of a language. Things used to be worse.

And then there’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Rindge and Latin is a merger:

The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is a public high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts …

In 1977, two separate schools called the Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin School, merged to become what today is known as Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS). (link)

Now, Rindge:

The Rindge Technical School was first established in 1888 as the Cambridge Manual Training School as a result of a donation to the town made the previous year by Frederick H. Rindge.  Rindge stated that he wished “the plain arts of industry to be taught…for boys of average talents, who may in it learn how their arms and hands can earn food, clothing, and shelter…”  This school, renamed in 1899 as the Rindge Manual Training School, became the first manual training school in Massachusetts.  Boys were taught firefighting, woodworking, drafting, and various other technical trades.  Academic courses such as language, mathematics, and science were taught at Cambridge English High School.  The school, along with Cambridge Latin School, was one of the first local schools to participate in formal athletic competition. (link)

And Latin:

The Cambridge High School was divided in 1886: its classical department became the Cambridge Latin School and its remaining departments the Cambridge English High School. The English High School was located at the corner of Broadway and Fayette Streets, while the Latin School was transferred to the Lee Street church, which had been renovated to receive it.

The division produced the Cambridge High & Latin School, with a name that was syntactically odd, coordinating as it did the adjective high and the noun Latin. I suppose we should be thankful that the the earlier events didn’t produce the Cambridge English High and Latin School, and that the 1977 merger didn’t produce the Cambridge Rindge & High & Latin School, or, worse, the Cambridge Rindge Technical & High & Latin School.

Which brings me to Brigham and Women’s, discussed on Language Log back in 2005 by Geoff Pullum:

Bill Poser stopped to chat at the water cooler in 1 Language Log Plaza the other day, and remarked that the ugly coordinative name “Brigham & Women’s Hospital”, which appears to coordinate items in different grammatical functions (attributive modifier and determiner, respectively), could have been worse, much worse. What is now the Brigham and Women’s Hospital results from a series of three separate binary mergers of what were originally four hospitals:
— the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
— the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital
— the Boston Lying In Hospital
— the Free Hospital for Women
If you merged those last two you have had “the Free and Boston Lying In Hospital for Women”, or “the Boston Lying In and Free Hospital for Women”, or any of a number of other awkward names. A merger of the first and third might have produced “the Peter Bent and Boston Lying In Hospital” or “the Boston Lying In and Peter Bent Hospital”… So perhaps we were lucky.

(On a personal note: my daughter was born in Boston Lying In Hospital, as it was then.)


5 Responses to “Cambridge Rindge and Latin”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From John Gintell on Google+:

    Most people just call the school CRLS.

    Rindge funded the school, the public library – next door, and City Hall.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From David Preston on Facebook:

    David Preston My mom worked for Brand-Rex. Not a pun on ‘brand-x’, but a merger of the Brand Corp. and the Rex Corp.
    Then there’s ‘Fifth Third Bank’.

    On Fifth Third Bank, from Wikipedia:

    Fifth Third Bank (5/3 Bank) is a U.S. regional banking corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and is the principal subsidiary of holding company Fifth Third Bancorp.
    … Fifth Third’s unusual name is the result of the June 1, 1908 merger of Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank, to become the Fifth Third National Bank of Cincinnati. While Third National was the senior partner, the merger took place during a period when prohibitionist ideas were gaining popularity, and it is legend that “Fifth Third” was better than “Third Fifth”, which could have been construed as a reference to three “fifths” of alcohol. The name went through several changes over the years until March 24, 1969, when it was changed to Fifth Third Bank.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Ghil’ad Zuckermann on Facebook:

    In Queensland, Australia, I met the minister for disabilities and multicultural affairs!
    In New South Wales, Australia, I knew of the minister for women and fair trading!!
    No kidding. In each case the minister was given 2 relatively small portfolios, hence the unfortunate combination.

  4. Chris Waigl Says:

    The University of Alaska Fairbanks runs a community college as one of its divisions. It was founded as the Tanana Valley Community College in the 70s but was integrated into the University of Alaska system and attached to UAF in the 80s, as UAF Tanana Valley Campus. In 2010, the name was changed again (for a number of political reasons not all of which I’m completely familiar with) to UAF Community and Technical College. I asked a few friends, including Melinda, if they found the name “odd” (the oddness being the coordination/merging of noun/noun compound community college with an adjective/noun compound, technical college). No one reported they found this name strange in any way, which I thought is interesting. (I admit I do not have a good intuition for US English parallelism preferences.)

  5. arnold zwicky Says:

    An alternative is to just juxtapose the two contributory names, without and, as if the result was hyphenated (but without the hyphen). This gives us things like Choate Rosemary Hall.

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