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A Museum By Any Other Name

The attraction known as the Pioneer Auto Show, formerly known as the Pioneer Auto Museum, Murdo, SD, wants everyone to know one thing. It is not a museum.

“We are not a museum,” says its owner in a story in the Mitchell Republic. “We are an attraction. We are fun. We are an experience.”

The Pioneer Auto Show is still the same place that it was when it was the Pioneer Auto Museum. But its owner obviously feels that “museum” is a bad word for business — and he has a point. There are a lot of dull museums out there.

But the problem isn’t museum. It’s the words that come before it. No one would question the fun of the Toilet Seat Art Museum, or the allure of Leila’s Hair Museum, or that an experience of some kind beckons at the Titan Nuclear Missile Museum.

The Pioneer Auto Show has hundreds of exhibits in its vast collection that would make enticing adjectives in front of a museum. Don’t get more vague; get more specific. Few travelers could resist a stop at the Tom Mix Death Car Museum, or the Largest Fossil Sloth Claw Ever Found Museum.

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