"Nine eleven?" What happened to original naming?

My mama told me that since I’m not in America I can’t understand the emotional effect the disasterous events that happened on September 11, but, uh, couldn’t folks come up with a better name for the day that will go down as one of the darkest in American history? It seems so contrite and, well, uninspired. “Remember the Alamo!” “Remember Pearl Harbor!” “Remember Wounded Knee!” “Remember Memphis!” etc. Those were events that happened at more specific geographic locations, so that makes it a little easier. There were four planes that went down in three locations; doubtlessly the collapse of the World Trade Center towers will remain the outstanding part of the day. Couldn’t we come up with a better name than two numbers though? As an American, one of the things I’ve taken pride in is our ingenuity in the face of difficulty. Is it humility and respect for the dead that prevents us from giving the day a stronger name, or is it just that “Nine eleven” says it best?

A few suggestions:

…damn, I can’t think of a thing. Maybe “Nine Eleven” is the best we can do… But you ain’t never gonna catch me saying “Nine Eleven Day.”


Personally, I call it September 11, 2001. “Nine eleven” just shows how brain dead America is. We need to have short catch phrases for everything so that we can remember them with our tiny little minds and spout them every two minutes.

Of course, maybe something like “The day those Arab extremist fucks kicked us in the balls and ran off to laugh about it whilst hiding in some caves” would be more to your liking.

Or perhaps not…

$0.02 I agree with both of you, it’s a lame name. Leave it to the Americans. At least the Germans came up with something that sounds halfway interesting, like Kristallnacht. 9-11 sounds like a convenience store, or the time I would like to wake up in the morning, not an event in world history.

I was thinking something similar about September 11’s new naming convention on the way to school this morning. What’s next? “Happy One-One!” “Happy Two-Fourteen!” And if your birthday’s on the ninth day of June, will you get in trouble for having “Happy 6/9” on your books (or anywhere else, for that matter)?

Let’s see what kind of reaction folks have when Christmas is called “12/25.”

On that line, there’s Cinco de Mayo and the Fourth of July, both with better names, but they’re not used as much…

It’s like a bad “Y2K” hangover effect.

How soon after events happen are they usually given the name that will grace history books? I would guess that right after it happened, Kristallnacht was “that crazy shit that happened last night” and then it was dubbed with a name.

9-11 is a succint way of saying “the day of the terrorists’ attacks” that makes it clear the speaker is referring to the those events rather than anything else happening or around another September 11. Could people rename it if they tried?

9/11 also has a psychological tie-in with 9-1-1, our emergency telephone number. I image the terrorists thought of that when they picked the date in the first place.

Well, since Cinco de Mayo is acceptable, how about Once de Septiembre?

Anyway, for comparison purposes, on 6 December 1989 a crazed gunman burst into the U of Montreal’s École Polytechnique and shot fourteen female engineering students while screaming that he hated feminists. It was a turning point of both the feminist and the gun-control movements in Canada.

The event itself is referred to as the Montreal Massacre or (in Montreal) the Polytechnique Massacre, but we haven’t been able to come up with any other name for the commemorations than December Sixth. The memorial park is called Place du 6-Décembre-1989.

loud stage whisper:

Dies y Seis de Septiembre.

“Nine-eleven” actually seems suitable to me for a couple of reasons:

  1. It started out as just an ordinary day. Continuing to refer to it by the mundane syllables of its date seems more poignant to me.

  2. 9-11 = 911, the emergency digits.

  3. “September eleventh, two thousand-one” is just too long to say every time.

What happened on September 16?

The 16th of September? How do you say “huh” en espanol? :confused:

(And, yes, I know it takes a tilde, I don’t know how to do an effing tilde, okay? Or the accent for “tilde,” either.)

At my magazine, we actually did have to have a meeting wherein we decided how to put it in our Stylebook, for consistency’s sake. If people say “September eleventh,” of course we’ll write out out like that. If they say “nine-one-one,” we will put “9/11.”

One reason we can’t “make up a name” is that it WASN’T just the World Trade Center that was attacked, it was also the Pentagon—and there were the people on Flight 93 who can’t be overlooked, too. It wasn’t just “one event.”

And he misspelled “diez,” too.

I heard on the radio that day that it was probably chosen because it was the anniversary of the Camp David Peace Accords. I don’t know if this is true or not. Just thought I’d throw it out there.

(BTW, Jodi - the tilde is next to the “1” on standard keyboards.)

It’s Mexican Independence Day!

Erm,yes, but it won’t go over the ‘n’. “Espanol" and "espanol” don’t work well, except maybe as a novel way to indicate a glottal stop! :slight_smile:

To do foreign language diacritical marks, you have to enter the correct ASCII code like this ñ


I thought Snopes had debunked this but now I can’t find it.

Eve, I was about to say the same thing but you put it better than I could have.

sigh Yes, Virginia, “once” is Spanish for “eleven”. Trust the Hispanic Studies minor. And 16 is “dieciseis.”

How about PentaTrade 117793175, or better yet, PentaTrade 41?