A provocative suggestion? One of our...


October 03, 1992

HOW'S THIS FOR a provocative suggestion? One of our educator friends thinks the name of the University of Maryland College Park should be changed to the University of Maryland at Washington. He's only half-kidding. Well, make that three-quarters.

What stirs our friend to such heresy requires a two-fold explanation.

First, he believes UM's potential as a great state university on a par with Michigan's, North Carolina's and California's derives in great part from its proximity to the capital of the greatest nation in the world.

Therefore, to exploit this advantage, it would make good tongue-in-cheek sense to advertise its location to the world. After all who in Sri Lanka has ever heard of College Park? Why, it could be be in Pennsylvania.

Our friend's second motivation hits closer to home. Ever the teacher, he would like to bludgeon Baltimoreans into celebrating rather than resisting the inexorable growing together of two very disparate cities into what will soon be officially designated the nation's fourth largest statistical metropolitan district.

What better way, he asks, than by making it clear through a UM name-change that Washington was originally part of Maryland and by all rights should be embraced if not officially readmitted.

If UMCP is indeed to become UMW (not to be confused with John L. Lewis' union of the same initials), then we have a counter-suggestion. Why not get rid of the nomenclature of UMAB (the University of Maryland at Baltimore) and UMBC (the University of Maryland Baltimore County) and just call it simply UMB (the University of Maryland Baltimore)?

* * *

IN CASE German authorities are perplexed about the British people not appreciating their plans to celebrate the birth of the V-2 rocket during World War II, the account of just one incident, among many, may clarify the situation. Martin Gilbert's history of the war contains this passage:

"Over London, on November 25 [1944], a V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth's department store on New Cross Road, Deptford, killing 160 lunchtime shoppers.

" 'I remember seeing a horse's head in the gutter,' a thirteen-year-old girl, June Gaida, later recalled, and she added: 'Further on there was a pram all twisted and bent, and there was a little baby's hand still in its woolly sleeve. Outside the pub, there was a bus and it had been concertinaed, with rows of people sitting inside, all covered in dust -- and dead.' "

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IT USED to be that ice water was one of the bonuses that came with a meal purchase. The days of free water may be over, however.

One of our spies tells us that he spotted the following sign at a carryout in Charles Center: "Water 16 oz. -- 35 cents, 22 oz. -- 45 cents."

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