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Kannapolis Is Correct

September 08, 1985

Regarding "Murdock's Reign Changes Life at Southern Mill Town" (Aug. 25), I am sorry to disappoint you, but I think James William Cannon correctly named his town Kannapolis, despite the fact that the story says he mistakenly thought the word was Greek for "city of looms."

If you consult a Greek/English dictionary, you find that there is kanon (with accompanying feminine kanne and neuter kanna) listed, as being a rod used in weaving, the shuttle or quill by which the threads of the woof were passed between the threads of the warp. Further, it (kanon) is any straight rod, or bar, one of the definitions for (Latin) canon, from which the word cannon was derived.

The story also says that classic scholars say that a better translation would be Histopolis, but histo merely means standing and that was applied to the loom of ancient times that stood upright.

I'm sure Cannon's (non-ancient) looms did not stand upright, although I may be wrong. In any event, you have to concede the cleverness of naming the town not only after the equipment found therein, but also after the founder of the town and in such a way that no one (relatively) knew what he was doing.

DAVID R. STEPSAY

Los Angeles

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