I spent the first 24 years of my life living in Gwinnett County, Georgia. When I was born, Gwinnett had a population of 72,349. At the time, much of the county resembled Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. Everyone knew almost everyone else, and there was a sense of “community” there that I haven’t really felt since.
During the 1980s, however, Gwinnett experienced massive growth. The county frequently placed at or near the top of “America’s fastest growing counties” lists. The county grew so much that the 2010 census estimates its population at 808,167. More people live in Gwinnett County than within the city limits of San Francisco, Memphis, Charlotte, Baltimore, Boston or Seattle. Hell, the Gwinnett school system – the largest in Georgia – has more students (159,258) than Dayton, Ohio (155,461), Springfield, Missouri (154,777) or Salem, Oregon (151,913) have residents. The Gwinnett Arena, originally considered a boondoggle by many area residents, has hosted concerts by Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Depeche Mode, Snow Patrol, Bon Jovi and more. The county has their own East Coast Hockey League team (the Gwinnett Gladiators) and in January of this year, the Atlanta Braves announced that they were moving their AAA club from Richmond (population: 200,123) to Gwinnett.
Gwinnett is big. It’s for real. So why the hell do people still misspell it? To this day, I’ll see “Gwinet”, “Gwinnet”, “Gwinett”, “Gwinnet” or “Gwinnette” on websites and blogs. Just the other day, I was looking at a band’s page on MySpace, only to find that they were playing the “Arena at Gwinnette Center” soon. And it drove me nuts!
Continue reading “It’s GWINNETT, dammit!”