Kingsville Texas is the county seat of Kleberg County; in January of 1997 county commissioners unanimously designated "heaven-o" as the county's official greeting.

Okay, I know that's not really breaking news; but I've been on a bit of a separation of church and state kick, so when I stumbled on this I thought I'd share.

So what is wrong with using "hello?" Well it turns out that Leonso Canales Jr. thinks "hello" is a negative greeting due to its association with "hell." What?!

According to Canales "The 'O' is not enough to hide the most negative word (hell) printed in every dictionary" and speaking the word is even worse. So in 1988 Canales (with assisted insight from his brother) coined the greeting "heaven-o."
There is no etymological link at all between the words "hell" and "hello", the latter deriving from older forms such as "hallow" and "hullo". Ironically, this common greeting probably has its oldest origins in the Germanic word "hailæn" (or Old English "hælan), which means to heal, to cure or to save, either in the physical or religious sense.
What's worse is that this shining example of ignorance somehow managed to convince the Kleberg County commissioners of the link between "hello" and "hell." And subsequently persuaded them "heaven-o" was better. Then with a direct violation of the first amendment the county designated "heaven-o" as their official greeting; instructing chamber of commerce and courthouse employees to answer the phone "Heaven-o."

As far as I can find, this policy still stands.

If you're feeling adventurous, he has a webpage.

Views: 2

Tags: Constitution, First-Amendment, government, ignorance, separation-of-church-and-state, socas

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on June 15, 2009 at 7:41am
I wish we could make Texas it's own backwards, crazy-ass country.
.. and then embargo the shit out of them for human rights violations.
Comment by Gaytor on June 15, 2009 at 10:10am
They are by far the most backwards state. If it wasn't for oil they'd have nothing. They've had six crane accidents in the last year but refuse to even require training to run a crane. You have to be licensed to drive it but not to pull the levers? Workers have no rights to organize effectively due to right to work laws and so wages are 30 - 40 % less. We have jobs they might cry, but you are broke so what is the value of having a job that leaves you without any excess?
Texas is the laughing stock of the US and they stand on a soap box shouting what makes us laugh. Execution for mentally ill. Seeking death penalty against juveniles. The intent to run themselves as a religious state. They choose subrogation on all fronts and claim independence at the same time. Sigh
Comment by Reggie on June 15, 2009 at 1:09pm
Heaven-o? Sounds a lot like "big-o". And we all know sex is a dirty and shameful necessity for procreation only, so we need to change heaven-o to something less offensive. Any ideas?
Comment by Aric on June 15, 2009 at 10:31pm
It's funny how the first thing they jump to is "heaven-o". Like the word "hi" is some crazy word they've never heard of.
Comment by Dave G on June 16, 2009 at 1:59pm
Hi is a word that comes from those drug-smoking hippies, obviously. It being Texas, I'm shocked that they didn't opine for 'Howdy'.

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