Should we just rename Uranus already?

Illustration for article titled Should we just rename Uranus already?

Two-hundred-and-thirty-two years ago a mistake was made. The question is, do we have to keep living with it forever, or is it finally time to rename Uranus?

Even as I write this, I am bracing myself so that I can be stoic in the face of the inevitable barrage of comments that amount to, "I named my anus Flossie!" That's the problem. There is no way to write an article without the Uranus/your anus subtext. Even when no one mentions it, you know it's there.

It didn't have to be. When William Herschel discovered the planet in 1781, he wanted to name it The Georgian Planet, after King George, his patron. Unfortunately the convention for naming planets after the Roman gods was, even then, cemented in place. Herschel was shouted down by the astronomical community. What's frustrating, now, is that astronomical community was international. There had to be a few English-speakers who knew the problem, and if even one had had the moral courage to stand up and speak out about it, so many things would have been simpler today. But no, they decided on a name that has caused centuries of annoyance.

Illustration for article titled Should we just rename Uranus already?

Now, I know that English isn't the only language out there, and that English-speakers would be asking other scientists to adjust all their textbooks to suit our own desires. I don't want to be a cultural chauvinist, but "Uranus," just seems too awful to take. I'd like to think that if a planet bore a name that translates, in another language, to "goat humper," or "that thing I sneezed out this morning," English-speakers would work with them to find a resolution. We struck Pluto from the record books entirely. Are we really going to let this travesty blight the lives of future generations? (In the interest of fairness, I would also consider renaming the body part. What do you think of "flossie"?)

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Chamomiles Davis

How about "Urectum?"