|The Random Town Name Generator|
The Problem of Place Names
For Centuries, the problem of naming towns, cities and villages has been taxing Mayors, Councils and local and national Governments around the corner and across the World. Infighting between parties with vested interests in ensuring that the memory of some dignetary, local geographical feature or historical activity or other is preserved has caused many a rift to open up between friends and colleagues, chums and buddies. An oft forgotton fact is that the never always infamous '14 Year War'1 resulted from an argument between local tribesfolk and their overbears concerning whether their regional capital should be called 'Dingsburywick' after the noise made by the chiming of bells used as a sign of an arriving visitor or 'Chiptonfordby' after General Q. Z. Chipt, the town's founder (and ironically, later it's main counter conspirator). The battle was finally ended with the loss of over 2,000 lives when it was realised that the city concerned had been reduced to rubble and that a new capital would have to be built anyway.
Flatworthytonstokesby Town Naming Ceremony
With the advent of this very tool, the world's first Random Town Name Generator (or RaToNaGe), this problem finally has a solution to which all parties can agree and never more will deciding upon a suitable name be an issue. The RaToNaGe is a highly sophisticated computer-based tool which draws upon over a 1,000 years of place naming expertise to deliver unique and up-to-date solutions in a field which has remained stagnant for centuries and is now infertile and rather smelly. It has been estimated that, if a tool of this sophistication had been avaliable for the past 400 years, the lives of more than 290 councillors and other civil servant types would have been saved2.
If you've been searching the internet for a solution to your place naming problem, thank the Lord3 that you've come across the RaToNaGe, as your difficulties have now dissolved into the etherial background noise like so many other spread out things that are now really flat and thus of no vertical significance.
History is no HelpFrom the early 10th century cities, towns, townships, villages, settlements, and hamlets (and even nations and kingdoms) have been given names which reflect, in some way, the place's origins. However, as time has progressed many of the names have become distorted as bad handwriting, appalling spelling and other flaws of poor education have allowed letters to be changed, deleted or even new letters to be added. Thus the modern-day name of many places bears no resemblance to their original meaning4 and furthermore, have no connection whatsoever with the current place's raison d'être or with its reason for being5.
What's worse, in many cases, residents have become bored with the name of their town, or have decided that it's name is too similar to that of another town. In order to extracate themselves from this highly upsetting predicament, they have thus either made further changes to the name or, more commonly, have extended the name by the inclusion of additional place name suffixes. Evidence of this can be found all over the United Kingdom for example, where we find competing and contrasting town names such as 'Hertford' and 'Hertingfordbury'; 'Andover' and 'Andoversford'; 'Woking' and 'Wokingham' and 'Birch' and 'Birchwoodmoor'. If more proof were needed (which it's not), what about 'Blidge' and 'Blidgersoverleyton', 'Moolerton' and 'Moolertonburystoke' or 'Clumpby' and 'Clumpworthtonbyworth'?
How Doesn't It Not Work?
The double negative in the above question is no accident as the RaToNaGe software employs a complex neg-neg/neg-neg geo-targetting algorithm based on the 'IP Flute Route6' reverse look-up suite of empirical analysis tools. Details of your current location, identified by tracing your IP address back over the internet are melded together with information on your current mood, which is calculated based on the web-sites stored in your bookmarks folder and on your most recent browsing history. In addition, information sent by all computers connected to the internet can be used to determine local conditions at your end such as the ambient temperature; together with the brightness of nearby lighting; how hard you press the keys on your keypad; and so forth. Using the Trellis-Plifford7 key relationalship theory, correlations between such factors can be used to undermine traditional thinking on power consumption curves and their impact on heat dissipation to yield a highly accurate rendition of how global warmth changes are likely to affect your locality and thus whether parks, play areas, slums and other topograhical features may, over the next 3 to 4 thousand years become forests, rivers, deserts, bogs or other non-anamorphic landwings.
IP Flute Route
By carefully re-winding some of the more esoteric range placements suggested by Duck8 in his theory on the theory of theories, RaToNaGe has taken a massive leap forward in pre-conceptual place name development and can therefore deliver exceptionally accurate names whose fundamental make-up is guaranteed to be within 2% of a committee or consultation based solution, but without falling out, going to war, or otherwise getting a bit hot under the collar about whether your neighbours idea is better than your own. We are constantly working to improve the accuracy of place-name development, but believe that with our error margin down to 2%, the utility of the function therein contained outweighs the possible downside of incorrect place name mitigation action that might occasionally not need to be otherwise taken.
This Must Cost A Fortune!
It has taken around 34 man-years9 of effort to develop the RaToNaGe. Even at the low rates with which second-rate computer programmers can be recruited in dark alleyways in places such as Bangalore, Shanghai and Monterey, California, this represents an investment of equivalent value to that of the lives of three giraffes and an orangutan. Whilst the giraffes are, generally speaking, relatively impervious to the potential threat to their existence, the orangutan (called 'Bibby') is worried that her demise would adversely impact the future education and thus survival of her nine children ('Libby', 'Lobby', 'Bobby', 'Blibby', 'Libib', 'Blibb', 'Bloob', 'Blibly' and 'Tony Blair').
Blibby 'sans Banane'
Nonetheless, we feel that the social, societal and stoical benefits that accrue from making this life-saving tool available to the general public, far outweigh the possible costs. We are trying as hard as we can to help Bibby and her children, but what with having to expend exponential effort maintaining the RaToNaGe, we don't get to buy as many bananas as we would ideally like to. If you wish to help sustain the RaToNaGe, especially if you're a heavy user or are regularly stuck for the name of a place, you can contribute to the project by making donations directly to the Orangutan Foundation. We personally and charitably donate all of the profits10 made from the RaToNaGe project to supporting Bibby and her children.
TestimonialsDespite having only recently been made available to the general public, the RaToNaGe has been under development for some time and many people, keen to leverage the significant benefit therein found, have used the ßeta version of the tool to solve local town naming issues. Herewith a few genuine testimonials from those lucky enough to be early benefactors of this amazing feat of modern technological marvellousness:
"Thank you so much to the RaToNaGe team. Without you, our new property development would have forever been now as 'Plot 7, Block B'. Now we have a scientificised town-name all of our own that truly reflects the timbre and genre of the local concept."
Tim Simms, Sloltings Spa
"Since the Middle Earth there had been local arguments about whether our town, 'Limone De Chere' should be given a more appropriate English name given that it's in England and not in France. The original name came about through an amelioration of pnemonics in 1655 that resulted in the town's elected name 'Limedonchester' being corrupted when it was registered with the local government by local school teacher, Jean-Jaques Blimm, who was the only person in the town who could write at the time, and whose ancestry was clearly not the East Midlands background of the local folk."
"In 2006, the RaToNaGe team allowed us access to their software and the problem was once-and-for-all solved. All the quibbling and historical heartache is over and we now have an especially shiny, brightly reflective and highly appropriate new name which showcases our town's rich trouser-manufacturing cultural heritage and beautifully reflects our privileged land-locked location."
Teddy Blimm, Port Tapworthstokeberg-by-the-Sea
NewsA major overhaul and update of the software for the RaToNaGe has been implemented in April 2016. The standard deviation of the relative accuracy of the results has been reduced to levels that were previously unimaginable and, some believed, unachievable. The upshot is that whilst the error in place name mitigation remains around 2%, this is now a fixed attribute with little to no variance and thus the results can be treated with the utmost belief and there is no longer a need for retort or reversion to other tools which may have a lower probability of success.
How do I use the RaToNaGe?Using the RaToNaGe could not be easier11. Simply select values for the variables shown below from the pull-down list and click 'Generate'. The RaToNaGe will then run its series of complex, complicated and convoluted algorithms and, within less than a minute, return a unique, scientifically-derided, custom-made name for the country, kingdom, area, town, city, village or place you are trying to name. Please note that as each solution is unique and thus will never be repeated (this is an essential element of such a tool!), clicking the button a second time with the same input parameters will yield alternative name possibilities and not, as you might at first expect, the same solution. To ensure that place names are not exhausted by over enthusiastic townsfolk, each user is restricted to only 10 clicks before various claxons will sound and a large orangutan will be spiked back up your internet connection - be warned!
If you need any assistance in selecting appropriate values for any of the variables, a brief description of their purpose is given below:
|RaToNaGe Software dated 19 Apr 2016|
1 Accounts of the actual duration of the war vary. However, it is generally regarded that whether the war finished sooner or not, the ill feeling between parties, evidenced by an increase in specific and non-specific mud-flinging, lasted at least 14 years, if not, quite possibly, a bit longer (15 years for example, or maybe 15 and a half).
2 It has also been calculated that to implement a solution as complicated as the RaToNaGe without access to modern computing techniques would have resulted in the untimely demise of approximately 430 boffins and other brainy types. However, as society values councillors and other civil servants more highly then boffins and other brainy types, the resulting bloodshed would still socio-economically equate to a positive outcome. Indeed, it has been argued that the loss of the boffins and other brainy types in itself represents a positive societal outcome.
3 We use the term 'Lord' in this respect to indicate a higher authority of some nature. Whilst we recognise that the term is often used by the Christian church to represent their God, we respect the views of other mono- and multi-theistic religions as well as any other belief systems that may or may not involve the worship of people, animals, plants, chemicals (whether naturally occuring or man-made), milk-based products or that sludge stuff that you get when you mix mud with water.
4 A typical example is the city of York whose name was originally 'Borington' and was changed by the Romans in 71AD to 'Eboracum'. Following the arrival of the Vikings in circa 400AD (at just after lunchtime) the city's name was morphed to 'Evorwic'. But they got bored of this and so they changed it again to 'Jorvik'. Finally through the middle ages, verb and consonant erosion changed its name to 'York'. It is predicted that by the year 2310 the city's name will further metachange to either 'Orkstonstokesby' or 'Yoringsborough'.
5 It will come as a surprise to residents of or visitors to the city of Manchester, that the name does not refer to its über-masculinity, but is instead a side-swipe at the city's tiny Franco-German population for whom the name actually means 'Many Are Him' - a clear and obvious reference to the duplicity and inbreeding so common in such small communities.
6 "Geo-targetting algorithms for non-neanderthal time and area displacement assuagion", Trad, Flad and Flute, University of Chipping Leeppool, 1988.
7 Predicting future land-shift reformation characteristics from seemingly unrelated data - the Chaos theory reversed", Prof. Clifford Trellis & Dr. Dillis Plifford. Proceedings of the Third Future Chaos Requiem, Veamworthy-by-the-Sea, 2029.
8 "Theory on the Theory of Theories - A Practical Application of String Theory Theory", Dr. D. F. Duck, Walt Disnae Research Laboratories, Frisslandville Publications. ISDN 02-0710-06245.
9 Due to the differing time recording methods used by various members of the RaToNaGe development team, and due to the futuristic nature of past errors, this figure is subject to a potential inaccuracy of ±35 years.
10 Please note that the RaToNaGe project is run on a not-for-profit basis.
11 A recent study by the University of Speekkirksted Bay has shown that, in fact, usage of the RaToNaGe could be made more straightforward if many of the user inputs could be replaced with pre-selected randomly generated variables, especially as many of them seem to make next to no difference to the outcome. The main conclusion, however, was that users like to have inputs with which to fiddle and thus whilst operation could be simplified, this would seriously dent the entertainment potential of the tool.
12 Not to be confused with the, perhaps more common, geo-designator 'Blonge' relating the brightness and degree of simliarty to pink jelly pudding of a given classification.