Common
Posted: 15 September 2017 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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As in ground laid aside for the public weal. We have, for instance, Southsea Common here in my home town of Portsmouth. I can’t recall seeing this word in an American context. Do you guys use the term in this sense?

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Posted: 15 September 2017 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Just a wild ass guess, but the use of the word might be restricted to the former English Colonies. There is a Boston Common(s) for example. Why plural?

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Posted: 15 September 2017 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oecolampadius - 15 September 2017 07:59 AM

Just a wild ass guess, but the use of the word might be restricted to the former English Colonies. There is a Boston Common(s) for example. Why plural?

That’s the only place I’ve seen it; place-names which have held over from the colonial period in New England.  Other than that, in real estate developments that are trying to sound “fancy”.  The idea of lands held “in common” isn’t really a concept in the U.S.  If you see a plot of land somewhere you can bet somebody owns it, even if that “somebody” might be a city, county, state or the federal government.

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Posted: 15 September 2017 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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ground laid aside for the public weal.

That may be the modern definition of the word (which is a very ancient one, in application to land), aldi, but I’m not sure if it was always so. I think the word’s a bit of an archaic survival in Britain.  In feudal times, I think common land of the manor was land to which all members of a manor, regardless of status, had access. The infamous Enclosure Acts of the 18th and 19th centuries put a lot of common land in the hands of wealthy landowners and out of reach of common people.

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Posted: 16 September 2017 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There is a “Wilson Commons Park” near here, south of Reno..  I don’t know why it is called that. It is on the border of an area that “will remain undeveloped in perpetuity through Nevada Land Trust’s acquisition of a conservation easement.” So the use of “commons” sounds like some real estate marketing jargon to me.

[ Edited: 16 September 2017 07:05 AM by droogie ]
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Posted: 16 September 2017 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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aldiboronti - 15 September 2017 06:10 AM

As in ground laid aside for the public weal. We have, for instance, Southsea Common here in my home town of Portsmouth. I can’t recall seeing this word in an American context. Do you guys use the term in this sense?

Yes.

Just down the road from here is the town of Brunswick.

By their vote of May 8, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors “Granted one thousand acres of land to ly in general comonage.” Unlike the village green or town common found in the center of many New England towns, the Brunswick Town Commons was a specific grant from the private lands of the Pejepscot Co., and not from town-owned common and undivided land.

Located near the geographic center of town, the Commons has influenced the growth of the Brunswick region. Upon the promise of two hundred acres of land from the Commons, Bowdoin College was established in Brunswick. In the late 1800’s the Town appropriated money to plant and cultivate blueberries on the Commons.

source:  http://www.brunswickme.org/town-commons-committee/

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Posted: 16 September 2017 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A quick Googling shows that commons is often used in the names of residential developments and housing complexes, although this use is not in the traditional sense of the word. And yes, as far as I know the traditional common in the US is pretty much restricted to the original thirteen colonies; Boston Common being the most famous.

The tragedy of the commons is a term of art in economics.

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Posted: 16 September 2017 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The tragedy of the commons is a term of art in economics.

Pretty widely known even outside of economics, I would say.

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