This is topic Stupid question...why Hatrack River? in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Soundstream (Member # 9869) on :
Seriously, I did a Google Groups search and came up with nothing. It's just a weird name for a CoatHanger Lake or ShoeTree Sea. Am I missing something obvious here?

Be nice... [Big Grin]

Posted by Launchywiggin (Member # 9116) on :
And God said, "Let it be called Hatrack"

"And it was good."
Posted by Soundstream (Member # 9869) on :
Cute, but this might be closer.

From the Double-Tongued Dictionary:

hat-rack: v. to severely prune a tree of all but its largest branches.

Another quote: "Other trees damaged in 1983 were 'hat-racked' - pruned until they only had three or four limbs."

So I guess this translates into a river with only three or four main branches, and nothing else. No other streams coming off of the branches.

Could someone verify this by looking at one of the maps in the Alvin Maker books?

Btw, hat-racking a tree eventually kills it: this isn't some kind of premonition, I hope?

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Have you read the Alvin Maker books?
If not, do so. They will clarify many things. [Smile]
Posted by Soara (Member # 6729) on :
Also a rack on which you put your hats.
Posted by Libbie (Member # 9529) on :
Plus, it just sounds really cool.
Posted by Soundstream (Member # 9869) on :
Granted, it does sound pretty cool...

I did read the Alvin Maker series about 10 years ago. I got as far as Journeyman Alvin...guess I need to revisit it. But I never have the time!! [Grumble]

Sure, make me do things the hard way. [Razz] At least I know where my Alvin books are (I moved here six months ago, still haven't finished unpacking).

Boy, do I feel old. Where is the bent-over Graemlin, with a walker and cane? [Wink]
Posted by Soara (Member # 6729) on :
Hatrack was the town where Alvin was born, and (just a guess) it's one of the only places in Alvin Maker that's completely fictionous. Aside from like, the Crystal City and 8-faced Mound.
Posted by CRash (Member # 7754) on :
From a 2005 thread (surprised I remembered it):

Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
I liked the idea of a river that gave off tributaries in an alternating left-right pattern so it would look like a hatrack on a map. And thought it would be a fun name for a place named by American pioneers.

Posted by Dan_Frank (Member # 8488) on :
It's really pathetic, but I read the first several books and went several years mentally splitting the word incorrectly. That is, I mentally pronounced it "ha-TRACK", and didn't make the furniture connection for a very long time.

(slinks away)
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
You are not alone, Dan. A surprisingly large number of Hatrack posters mispronounce (or used to) the word as you did.
Posted by Soara (Member # 6729) on :
That's how I still pronounce it. I refuse to pronouce it the other way. It really sounds better as "ha-TRACK."
Posted by brojack17 (Member # 9189) on :
I pronounced buggers "boogers" for the longest time.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I pronounce it with a glotal stop. But then, that's how I say "hat", "cat", and "sat."

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