Four dictionary pages barely begin to define Columbia

The Scene -- County currents and undercurrents

August 23, 1992|By Erik Nelson

I was delighted to learn that the Columbia Dictionary has been so popular that it went into a second printing this month.

Now more people will know, thanks to the hard work of village managers, the subtle difference between an ARC and a RAC and that HRD and CMI are actually part of TRC.

It clears up a common misnomer, under "lien," which is from the latin, ligare, to bind: "Popular, but incorrect, term for the CA assessment (see Assessment)."

The dictionary also defines essential Columbianese, such as "CPRA," the archaic name for CA and adjective for anything pertaining to its members, and "New Town," Columbia's unique zoning category.

First printed late last year with a red cover, the dictionary's new blue-bound edition is a worthy and much-needed document, but I would suggest some revision and additional entries for the third printing (green, perhaps?).

For instance, under "Open Space," I would suggest adding a few possible uses after 'parks, schools, libraries and fire stations." In light of recent confusion, it should include something like, "can also be used for public works garages where buses and dump trucks are stored, and 'family fun centers,' a euphemism for batting cages and miniature golf."

I also was inspired to pencil in, right at the beginning of the list, "ABC," for the Alliance for a Better Columbia.

The definition could be, "Self-described watchdog group, led by its president, Alex Hekimian. Frequent critic of Columbia Association policies and Columbia Council actions. Sometimes misidentified as "Alex Bothering the Council."

Proper names of villages and neighborhood ought to be included, just to eliminate confusion over apostrophes. For instance, Kings Contrivance and Harper's Choice are often wronged in print. Even outparcels, or "Out Parcel," as listed, ought to be identified. This would make sure people won't confuse Allview Golf Course (now the yuppie condo/town house neighborhood of Fairway Hills) Allview Estates (an outparcel neighborhood several miles south) and the Allview Inn (a nouveau-yuppie bar) ever again.

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