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Thread: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

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    Default Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Debate grows over what to call Hawaii's largest island

    Interesting KITV story.

    Despite the comments of everyday locals interviewed, it seems like politicians are beginning to cave in to the insistence of "island kupuna, historians, cultural leaders" who want everyone to fall in line with calling it "Hawai'i," despite the obvious confusion it would cause whenever someone is talking about the island/county or the entire state.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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    Arrow Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Debate grows over what to call Hawaii's largest island

    Interesting KITV story.

    Despite the comments of everyday locals interviewed, it seems like politicians are beginning to cave in to the insistence of "island kupuna, historians, cultural leaders" who want everyone to fall in line with calling it "Hawai'i," despite the obvious confusion it would cause whenever someone is talking about the island/county or the entire state.
    Historically, the island was named first, then the state after the dominant island. (Also the Island of the conquering chief, Kamehameha).

    One solution would be to distinguish "the Island Hawai`i" from "the islands of Hawai`i." Also denoting that Kamehameha conquered the island group (though not all islands), and he was from the island of Hawai`i. He made all the islands part of Hawai`i.

    Looking through my dictionary, hawa and i`i are mostly diminutive or deprecating terms; it is interesting how the article turned that around....

    I also recall other Polynesian dialects refer to Hawaiki, a reference to... I forget what. (Getting old).

    It is hard to change names in use for a long time; the Big Island has been in continuous use at least for one or two generations. Another alternative would be the South Island. We already use epithets for all the islands, Hawai`i is 'the volcano isle.'

    Change is not impossible, however. Note Bombay/Mumbai, Istanbul/Constantinople....
    Last edited by Kaonohi; September 4th, 2012 at 04:06 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Technically, the “Big Island” should be called “Hawai‘i”, but like FM said, it will cause confusion; plus all the local people still call it “the Big Island” and have been calling it that for generations.

    Where I work, we hardly ever call that island “the Big Island” unless it’s a quote. We either say “the island of Hawai‘i” or “Hawai‘i Island” (notice the lower case/cap for “island”). That’s still not an adequate solution, but it seems to work.

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    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    For me it is and will always be "The Big island". Easier to say.. less syllables... practical in this day and age where a lot of things are shortened. If you look at any map of the State of Hawaii, the name "Big Island" may not be listed as such, but is quite obvious to any observer that the island of Hawaii is the largest.

    So calling the island "The Big Island" is just a statement of differentiation (from the State of Hawaii) and acknowledgment that this is the biggest island.

    Many businesses and organizations use the name... in Hilo alone:

    Big Island Built
    Big Island Acupuncture
    Big Island Delights, Inc.
    Big Island Honda
    Big Island Housing Foundation
    Big Island Lube, Inc.
    Big Island Toyota Suzuki
    Big Island Candies,Inc.
    Big Island Visitor's Bureau
    Big Island Plant & Foilage
    Big Island Tropical Landscapes
    Big Island Sports Academy
    Big Island Laminates & Cabinet
    Big Island Maintenance, Inc.
    Big Island Physical Therapy
    Big Island Printers
    Big Island Spa Source
    Big Island Tech
    Big Island Dermatology
    Big Island Coin & Stamp
    Big Island Pizza
    Big Island Granite Co.
    Big Island Koa Co.
    Big Island Delights
    Big Island Grave Markers
    Big Island Acupuncture
    Big Island Appraisal Service
    Big Island Package Homes
    Big Island Drug Court
    Big Island Insurance LLC
    Big Island Courier Service
    Big Island Housing Foundation
    Big Island Used Cars
    Big Island Paving Co.
    Big Island Resource
    Big Island Hearing Center
    Big Island Surf Co.
    Big Island Optical Inc.
    Big Island Countertoips
    Big Island Construction
    Big Island Substance Abuse Council
    Big Island Academy of Massage
    Big Island Land Co. Ltd.
    Big Island Car Wash Inc.
    Big Island Foot Care Inc.

    and more...

    And online we have:

    Big Island Reporter
    Big Island Television

    I'm sure there are many other entities around the island that use the name "Big Island....."

    The bottom line is that the usage of "Big Island" is not going away anytime soon. It flows off your tongue easier and faster than "Hawaii Island" and many people already use it as it has been noted... for generations.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Moku O Keawe, perhaps?
    Quote Originally Posted by Honoruru View Post
    We either say “the island of Hawai‘i” or “Hawai‘i Island” (notice the lower case/cap for “island”). That’s still not an adequate solution, but it seems to work.
    We try to say "Hawai`i Island" on our radio shows, but we sometimes slip. It's a conscious effort on our part, at the urging of a number of residents. "Big Island" may, as Mel suggests, flow off the tongue of native ENGLISH speakers, but they aren't the only party with a dog in this race...

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    Talking Re: Big Island; religiously incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    Moku O Keawe, perhaps?
    I cannot say 'you surprise me,' but there is an element of surprise.
    Wow many here don't even know about Keawe,. (besides you, me and Pua'i Mana'o , who hasn't been around lately).

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    We try to say "Hawai`i Island" on our radio shows, but we sometimes slip. It's a conscious effort on our part, at the urging of a number of residents. "Big Island" may, as Mel suggests, flow off the tongue of native ENGLISH speakers, but they aren't the only party with a dog in this race...
    Woof! "What is in a name? Would not an Hawai`i, with a 'Big Island' epithet not smell as sweet? Not to be so overrun with coqui what makes sleep nigh but impossible? Ah, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream... AYE, there's the rub! For in what tortured dreams do we see our island, nay, even our life, torn asunder, as if from an inextricable amphibian, or even a lowly politician desiring to separate us from our foundations? Is this even the end? For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil and set out seats among the sacred names, must give us pause."

    (Sincere apologies to Wm. Skspr)
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    I'm betting on Vegasii. No need go mainland.

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    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
    I'm betting on Vegasii. No need go mainland.
    Sooo....

    Make it happen!

    You will get amazingly rich, have lots of 'girlfriends', but no real friends (I guess that's status quo), and can dress in awesome suits (until the Hawaiian Mafia takes you out.)

    I'll gamble in your casinos. I LOVE it.

    The Snake

    He he, I volunteer to be your secundo...,
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
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    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

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    Thumbs up Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    I was born on Long Island, New York...
    But first grew in Puako, Big Island from 1 to 5 years old.
    Wonderful dirt road, tidepools, petroglyphs, gas station/snacks in Kawaihai anyways...

    It has and I believe always shall be the 'Big Island' to me.
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    The bottom line is that the usage of "Big Island" is not going away anytime soon. It flows off your tongue easier and faster than "Hawaii Island" and many people already use it as it has been noted... for generations.
    I agree, Big Island and Big Isle are terms that will not disappear overnight.

    It appears that one's stance on this issue is largely based on the position a person holds within the community. As I already alluded to in my original post, public officials are under pressure to use proper/legal names in order to keep outspoken constituents happy. And I would imagine the likes of journalists and educators also come under similar scrutiny when it comes to using proper geographical names.

    But if one is a private citizen and is not accountable to the aforementioned "kupuna, historians, and cultural leaders," then they don't have to worry about what others think. If they feel like calling their home the Big Island, then what can anyone else say or do about it?

    It's similar to sports venues that have been renamed as part of sponsorship deals. For example, Qualcomm Inc. has poured in a lot of money to pay for upgrades to what was formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. That company can rightfully take umbrage at any San Diego Chargers official who fails to refer to the team's home field as Qualcomm Stadium. But what about the average sports fan who still has the habit of referring to the facility as "The Murph?" Well, as long as that fan is not receiving any money from the telecommunications giant, then there's really nothing that Qualcomm can do about it, can they?
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Volcano Island.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
    Volcano Island.
    No, that's reserved for Lōʻihi Seamount.

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    Talking Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
    Volcano Island.
    Sorry, already in use by Lego, a video game starring Sponge Bob Squarepants and a 'Johnny Quest' episode.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Pronounced HighLow island for Hilo to the mainlanders.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    Looking through my dictionary, hawa and i`i are mostly diminutive or deprecating terms; it is interesting how the article turned that around....

    I also recall other Polynesian dialects refer to Hawaiki, a reference to... I forget what. (Getting old).
    The term Hawaiʻi is present throughout Polynesia in slightly different forms corresponding to the respective sound changes that evolved in each language following their split from Proto-Polynesian. Samoans have Savaiʻi, New Zealand Māori have Hawaiki, Rarotongan's have ʻavaiki, and Hawaiians have the term Hawaiʻi. The reconstructed form of the word in Proto-Polynesian, from which all Polynesian languages descend, is theorized to be Sawaiki.

    Breaking a word apart to deduce meaning does not always work. For example, the word ʻāʻī means neck. ʻĀ means to burn, and ʻī can mean supreme. Does the term ʻāʻī, then, stem from a supreme burning? There is no evidence verifying this. It would be more likely that the term is not derived from a combination of these two root words. The same could be said for determining the meaning of the term Hawaiʻi.
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    Talking Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by 'i'iwipolena View Post
    Breaking a word apart to deduce meaning does not always work. For example, the word ʻāʻī means neck. ʻĀ means to burn, and ʻī can mean supreme. Does the term ʻāʻī, then, stem from a supreme burning? There is no evidence verifying this. It would be more likely that the term is not derived from a combination of these two root words. The same could be said for determining the meaning of the term Hawaiʻi.
    True.
    Proto-Polynesian and it's derivative language is not what linguists call an "aglutinizing" language, that is, the sum is not a measure of its parts. Each word stands alone.
    My fault for not stating this.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
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    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

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    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    True.
    Proto-Polynesian and it's derivative language is not what linguists call an "aglutinizing" language, that is, the sum is not a measure of its parts. Each word stands alone.
    My fault for not stating this.
    In Protopolynesian;

    Hawaiki
    Hawai`iki
    Hava Iki
    Havaiti

    And many more I have forgotten.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Big Island; politically incorrect term?

    The ability to translate languages in ones head is a valuable talent.

    In Canada a province called Quebec speaks a time encapsulated version

    of the French language.

    In Iceland the local Norse tongue is a living, thriving portion of the past.

    Reminds one of the Bottle city of Kandor.

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