My dad is visiting this week. When he comes, we always try to visit a nearby place that he hasn’t seen before and when possible, a place I have never been to either. He has passed on to me an innate curiosity about a great many things, so we both like to explore and while doing so, we often have discussions that contain questions:
- “How do you suppose X got started?”
- “What do you think X means?”
- “Who was the first person ever to X?”
- “Whatever happened to X?”
While it used to take considerable effort during or after our excursions to find the answers, such questions are now answered quickly and easily with the Internet.
School kids today can do research for school papers in a similar fashion. Finding one piece of vital information after hours digging through books, articles, and journals in a library is not something today’s students experience. Instead, they can Google a word or phrase and find their answers almost instantaneously.
A discussion about this as we drove through Sopchoppy, Florida, led to the day’s most unanswerable question: What is lost by not having this experience? I suppose it is only fair to ask the converse: What is gained by the new fashion of “research”?
Here is the answer to one of the day’s simpler questions (from City Name Origins):
Sopchoppy, Wakulla County — The name has been corrupted from “Lockchoppe,” the former name of the waterway in Wakulla County. Muskogee “lokchapi,” which signifies the red oak, is composed from “lokcha” (acorn) and “api” (stem).