Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Brooklyn Fountain Can Be “Adopted,” But Is It Wrong?

August 23rd, 2008 · 7 Comments

[Photo of fountain on Dean Street courtesy of adopt/le-font]

First, the news: There’s a cool program allowing one to “adopt” a fountain like the one pictured above. Here is their message seeking temporary homes for the fountain:

ADOPT/LE-FONT is looking for participants throughout Brooklyn to adopt and temporarily house a simple fountain. The fountains will become available for hosting on September 1 and will remain available for consecutive week-long intervals throughout the month. Adoption is free and open to the public.

For more information one can check here. Now for the interesting part, which is a response on Park Slope Parents that objects to the use of the word “adopt” and asks for the use of the word “sponsor” instead. Here are a few excerpts:

I would hope that whoever is running this campaign would consider changing the wording to “sponser a fountain”. As a parent who adopted my children, I find the original terminology to be unfortunate. Many others in the adoption community dislike this usage as well. I really don’t mind people using the term “adopt” when speaking of adopting a pet. To me, that’s much closer to what it means to adopt. But to adopt a fountain, highway, zoo animal — well, that’s playing on the term adoption (as in adopt a child) with none of the long term commitment.

The Journalist’s Guide to Adoption, apparently, makes the following distinction, per its quotation in the email:

“Adopt vs. Sponsor. Use of the term adoption to discuss something that is temporary and/or commercial in nature does not fit the dictionary definition. The more accurate term for nearly all these activities is sponsorship. These “adopt-a-programs” can be found at school, in the community and even on highway signs. Adoption should suggest permanency. Thus using the term adoption for children, pets and legislation is entirely appropriate. Having a class “adopt-an-eagle” trivializes something the adoption community considers as sacred as marriage rites. Adopt-A-Highway puts children on par with trash cleanup.”

So, who wants to put a fountain out front of their place for a week?

Tags: Park Slope · Uncategorized

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric // Aug 23, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    As a Park Slope resident who loves the neighborhood and thinks that Park Slope is often unfairly critiqued, this kind of uber-PC nonsense gives me hives. It’s a freaking (though cool) fountain made out of pickle buckets, for God’s sake. Someone’s adopting this fountain or that highway isn’t going to delegitimize someone else’s adoption of an actual human child. If a good-hearted person or couple makes the long-term commitment to adopt a child, great. But worrying about the bastardization of “adopt” doesn’t seem particularly productive.

    And is it any wonder that the Journalist’s Guide says what it says when fully two-thirds f the world’s journalists call Park Slope home?

  • 2 MJ // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:56 am

    amen eric, i fully adopt your opinion

  • 3 Adopt-Le-Font In The News « Adoptlefont’s Weblog // Aug 26, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    […] August 27, 2008 · No Comments http://www.gowanuslounge.com/2008/08/23/brooklyn-fountain-can-be-adopted-but-is-it-wrong/ […]

  • 4 brooklinbornrazedandlived // Aug 26, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    what is this? stepford slope! Do you people need to monitor and micromanage even the use of words!!!! What a travesty. ps- Have you seen the fountain ?It is beautiful and has made more people smile than anything I have ever seen . I live on its block.—pps — get a life. by the way– Language is flexible, creative and artful. let it be. Long live the real brooklyn.

  • 5 natisina // Aug 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Alrighty people – you heard them – no more adopting…
    Can’t Adopt a road
    Can’t Adopt a theory
    Can’t adopt a way of life
    Can’t adopt anything other than children and pets,

    Because some Park Sloper got bored with bitching about the same gripes in her life and needed something else to nit pick about.

    Beg your pardon, but f*ck this overzealous political correctness crap. It’s gay!

  • 6 Noisejoke // Aug 27, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Uh, EXCUSE ME? I’m one of The Politically Correct and I’m offended by your use of the word “the” for your own shortsighted and unkind needs.

    “The” is my word to be used by me for my exclusive “the” necessitating needs as I deem necessary.

  • 7 littledebbiet // Aug 27, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    If adopting a fountain is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Come see.

    Installation this Saturday, Aug 30th at 4pm.
    It will be on display in our front “yard” for exactly 1 week!

    114 E 8th Street
    between Friel and Caton Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11218