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Obscure places, grandiose names

Posted by Lotg on June 30, 2004

I've just returned from a round trip to my farm, which is a 12 hr each way journey. Of course 12 hours can be done in a single day, but when I'm driving alone, I'm no hero, so I split it and stay overnight each way. As a result, I generally end up staying in some motel in some small town on the highway.

On this return trip I found "the International Motel" located in Coopernook. Now, I have no idea what Coopernook's population is, but all it has that I've noticed on the highway is this motel, a caravan park, a service station and a pub. So I'm guessing that a population of 200 may be a generous guess.

But it got me thinking... (dangerous really), is it my imagination, or do hotel, motel & cafe, etc. names become increasingly grandiose as the location becomes increasingly obscure? I mean - why on earth would there be an International Motel in Coopernook???

And of course let's not forget the dozens of Empire Hotels, Imperial Hotels, Paragon Cafes, etc. etc.

I was raised in an area founded originally on gold then subsequently on agriculture. I can see why gold rush towns would have had hotels with grandiose names - and many of those towns that were huge and bustling once, are now little more than spots on the map. But other places, such as Coopernook, as far as I'm aware have no such background.

Am I having myself on, or has anyone else noticed this tendency to provide 'BIG' names to little things in little places??? And if so, is this just a Western culture tendency, or does it happen in other cultures too?

Oh BTW - should anyone be travelling down or up the Pacific Hwy, I can't recommend the International Motel at Coopernook highly enough. Lovely room, people were very very nice and welcoming, service was fantastic, divine bed (best night's sleep I've had in ages), and they had a cute cat too, and they even provided complimentary macadamia nut shortbread (he he) - absolutely charming.