Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What's in a name?

My house is situated 93 meters above sea level. At least that's what Google Earth and my GPS navigator tell me. My housing developers had given this housing estate a name ending with the word 'Heights'. Well, I think there are right.

Then I realised that there is also another housing estate a few kilometers away with a name ending with the 'Heights' too. But its average elevation is only 75 meters above sea level. I just shrugged my shoulders.

About two years ago when doing the National Population and Housing Census I found out there is also a housing estate in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan also with the word 'Heights' to its name. But when I was there my GPS navigator told me I was only 60 meters above sea level. I began to wonder whether some housing developers and local authorities understand the meaning of the word 'heights'.

Because the word 'heights' simply means 'a high place'. But how high can a place be to be deemed 'a high place' or replaced with the word 'heights'? We simply cannot give glamorous names to anything just to uplift our ego or to boost sales.

My suspicion was confirmed yesterday when some housing areas with the word 'Heights' to their name were flooded. Please click here to read the full news. But how come a high place get flooded? Checking with Google Earth one of the flooded 'Heights' is about 60 meters above sea level. Obviously this is not high enough to avoid floods. 

I mean no disrespect to the people affected by the floods. But some of them must feel being cheated now. The words 'Heights' to their housing estate has become a joke, to me at least. 

Unless like the housing developers and local authority, they don't understand English.

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