The Universe of Discourse

Thu, 03 Feb 2022

Mosaic church

Driving around today I passed by Mosaic Community Church. I first understood “mosaic” in the sense of colored tiles, but shortly after realized it is probably “Mosaic” (that is, pertaining to Moses) and not “mosaic”. But maybe not, perhaps it is an intentional double meaning, with “mosaic” meant to suggest a diverse congregation.

This got me thinking about words that completely change meaning when you capitalize them. The word “polish” came to mind.

I wondered if there were any other examples and realized there must be a great many boring ones of a certain type, which I confirmed when I got home: Pennsylvania has towns named Perry, Auburn, Potter, Bath, and so on. I think what makes “Polish” and “Mosaic” more interesting may be that their meanings are not proper nouns themselves but are derived adjectives.

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