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Author Topic: The Lake District  (Read 1301 times)

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Chris

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The Lake District
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 11:19 »
Jetster,

Why do we call it the Lake District, when there is only one lake there?

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jetster

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #1 on: Sep 18, 2006, 17:56 »
Ahah, we've had this one before.. Bassenthwaite Lake

Technically it is right, being the district of the Lake, and that lake being Bassenthwaite Lake. But obviously that's not what is meant.

By saying there's only one 'Lake' you're getting confused by the fact it has a capital L in the name 'The Lake District' or 'The Lakes'. Because it is a name, it has a capital L, though in reality it is referring to 'lake' with a small 'l'. Confusing, but makes a vast difference.

Both refer to nouns, however, by using 'L' you'd be refering to a singular lake which is called 'Lake'.. but by using a small 'l' you're refering to a body of inland water.

Using the thesaurus you can find that other words for lake include 'tarn' (a 'small mountain lake or pool'), and 'mere'. Therefore all meres and tarns are lakes. Additionally, a reservoir is also a lake, albeit man-made.

So, what's confusing is that it is in fact referring to 'lake', but because it is part of a name it becomes capitalised, and therefore uses a 'L'.

I hope that made sense cos it really is confusing trying to explain it.

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Phil

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #2 on: Sep 18, 2006, 18:20 »
 `The name of the song is called "HADDOCKS' EYES."'

  `Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to
feel interested.

  `No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little
vexed.  `That's what the name is CALLED.  The name really is "THE AGED AGED MAN."'

  `Then I ought to have said "That's what the SONG is called"?'
Alice corrected herself.

  `No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing!  The SONG is called
"WAYS AND MEANS": but that's only what it's CALLED, you know!'

  `Well, what IS the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time
completely bewildered.

  `I was coming to that,' the Knight said.  `The song really IS
"A-SITTING ON A GATE": and the tune's my own invention.'

 :D


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Chris

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2006, 13:59 »
Quote
By saying there's only one 'Lake' you're getting confused by the fact it has a capital L in the name 'The Lake District' or 'The Lakes'. Because it is a name, it has a capital L, though in reality it is referring to 'lake' with a small 'l'. Confusing, but makes a vast difference.
It's nothing to do with that - more the fact that the other bodies of water aren't technically lakes. Windermere is... a mere. Coniston Water is... a water. There are subtle geographic differences I believe.

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jetster

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #4 on: Sep 19, 2006, 15:33 »
In the dictionary 'lake' is described as:

"a body of fresh or salt water of considerable size, surrounded by land."

It defines the concept rather than the name. Windermere is the name, as is Coniston Water... while Windermere is a 'mere' (which the dictionary defines as a 'lake'), it is also a 'lake'.

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #5 on: Sep 19, 2006, 15:40 »
If the generic definition of a lake is "a large body of fresh water surrounded by land", then all of them can be described as lakes. I doubt whether any subtle geographic differences that you speak of had anything to do with the naming of them. They were named in a fanciful way, like the fells around them.

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Chris

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #6 on: Sep 19, 2006, 16:20 »
I believe that one of the things that counts against a large body of water being a lake is if it has a river flowing into or out of it.

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #7 on: Sep 19, 2006, 17:03 »
That would seem to discount most lakes in the world then, including most of the Scottish equivalents.

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Phil

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Re: The Lake District
« Reply #8 on: Sep 19, 2006, 17:13 »
The word mere is common to many Germanic and Norse languages. It is etymologically identical to lake. I believe the Germans call the Mediterranean 'middlemere'

Pity Me near Durham has an (albeit dubious) etymological derivation from Petit Mere (Little Lake).

If you fall in any of them you'll get wet.  :D

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