Unless you live in Rhode Island, and not too many people do, it may amuse you to know that the ballot in that state seeks voter approval to change the name of the State of Rhode Island to the State of Rhode Island.
You thought that already was the name, didn’t you? It’s not. The official name of that smallest of all US states is “the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
One reason to change it is while the City of Providence still exists, and is the state capitol, Providence Plantations do not. Another one is that the word plantation calls up images of cotton and tobacco plantations in the deep south, which were only viable because of slavery.
While I haven’t been following public opinion on the topic, I do know that a similar vote in 2010 went down to a staggering defeat, with 78% of those voting rejecting the name change.
We might not know who our new president will be late tonight, but we ought to know whether the state where I attended a lot of Boy Scout camps emerges from November 3, 2020 with a new name. Stay tuned.