True or False? Test Your Knowledge of Local News

What’s in a name? Read on… and see if you know which one of these changes is real.
by WALTER staff

Honorable Mention

In a move that’s making waves in Raleigh’s nightlife scene, beloved bar Neptunes Parlour is changing its name. Going forward, it will be known as Nick Neptune’s Parlour, as a nod to guest DJ, community activist and man-about-town Nick Neptune. “To be honest, people keep asking if the bar is named after him, so we just decided to embrace it,” said owners Erin and Martin Wheeler in a joint statement. “Plus, Nick’s here all the time.” The underground bar will still retain its signature red-lit dance floor and programming, but its merman mural will be redone to reflect the new namesake, and an apostrophe will be added to the name (another point of confusion, they say). “I’m so honored to be officially part of this storied establishment,” says Neptune, who will not have a financial stake in the business. “It’s a dream come true.”

Ensuring Accuracy

In a bid to communicate the true identity of a big-time North Carolina agricultural product, the N.C. Sweetpotato Commission is championing a linguistic shift, suggesting that folks who spell “sweet potato” as two words adopt the more accurate “sweetpotato.” “A sweetpotato, or Ipomoea batatas, is a totally different vegetable than a potato, Solanum tuberosum, so ‘sweet’ should not be used as an adjective the way one might use white, red or russet to describe different varieties of potatoes,” says Michelle Grainger, executive director of the commission. Grainger notes that the one-word spelling has been in place within scientific communities since 1989 and that Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill in 2019 to change the wording, but that the distinction has not caught on in normal parlance or within dictionary circles.

Celebrating our City

In a move that reflects its growing urbanization, the City of Raleigh has proposed changing its tagline from the “City of Oaks” to the “City of Squirrels.” “Squirrels are native to North Carolina, and they’re an energetic, adaptable species that thrives not only in green spaces, but in areas with lots of infrastructure — just like Raleigh’s citizens,” says Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They’re also diurnal and active year-round, which is a good reflection of our city’s bustling cultural and nightlife and evolving character.” A sketch for the new Raleigh flag was introduced with the proposal, which features an Eastern gray squirrel at its center, our most common species. “It’s just adorable,” says Edwards. 

Pronunciation Help

A bill has been introduced to change the spelling of the names of areas around North Carolina to more accurately reflect their correct pronunciation. “With so many people moving to our state, there has been lots of confusion,” said a press release detailing this bipartisan effort. On the list: Changing Appalachia to Apuhlatchuh, Angier to Annjur, Beaufort to Boefurt, Fuquay-Varina to Fewkway Vuhreenah, Kerr Lake to Car Lake, Mebane to Mebun, Mordecai to Mordukey, Topsail to Topsul and Uwharrie to Youwahree. “We’re confident that these more intuitive spellings will not only help prevent people from getting lost, but help newcomers better acclimate to their new home state,” the bill’s proponents said in a statement.  

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This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of WALTER magazine