Pro Tip: Proofread Your Ticket Before You Fly
If you say “Grenada” and I say “Granada,” we had better check to make sure we’re talking about the same place.
The spelling difference comes because one is French and one is Spanish. It’s possible that Spanish sailors named the island after the city, and the French later altered the spelling, possibly by association with the French word grenade, or pomegranate.
The grenade that blows up was so named because of it looked like the fruit. But the pomegranate probably doesn't directly figure into the naming of the island. Pomegranates weren't introduced into the New World until the 18th century.
The name of the Spanish city, established in the eighth century, comes from Arabic.
Granada also is the name of the oldest city in Nicaragua, it’s a car once made by Ford, and it’s the camp in the Allan Sherman song, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp). It’s the name of several U.S. cities, although the Grenada in Mississippi has the French spelling.
The Plymouth woman, with the wonderful name Lamenda Kingdon, booked her flight through an agent and didn’t notice the mix-up until she mentioned to the person next to her how much she was looking forward to seeing the Alhambra, the Moorish palace in Spain.
In the mid-1980s, when one generally used a telephone to book a flight, I ordered tickets from Tri-City Airport in Michigan for a trip to Florida. But the tickets that came in the mail were from Tennessee’s Tri-Cities rather than Michigan’s Tri-City (which later changed its name to MBS International Airport).
It’s a reminder for us to never make the assumption that what we think is said is what is meant. That’s something I learned growing up next to Utica and Rochester, having never lived in New York. Or England. Or northern Africa.