The convention of naming things

Not so long ago, I came across a Dollar Store or something like that in my hometown in Kerala, India.  Painted in star-spangled-red-and-white, and perched first floor above the ground level; the shop had drawn my attention.  The shop’s name was painted right in front of the building. The name — well I will come back to it later.

I am talking about naming inanimate objects:  businesses and companies, although I might add that our naming of children is far from perfect; especially when we deviate from tradition and find new, interesting names.

Someone who is the son of a very successful builder has named his company. Born Builders. When I heard that name for the first time, I conjured up images of a dog with a big bone right between his teeth. What this particular builder has imagined might be that they are the lineage of a successful builder and that construction, or ‘building’ happens naturally to them.  They are ‘born’ builders.  It might be just that I am a little bit more wicked that normal.

Also, while commuting to work I see a small boutique selling clothes or something. Cattleya Collections.  Well, all right: Cattle Collections.

An aunt who lived in our neighborhood once asked me where I was going.  When I told her that I was going ‘shopping,’ she suggested that I could say that I was going ‘marketing’ because I was literally going to a farmer’s-market-kind-of set-up and buy fresh vegetables.  No. Language is standardized. For me, shopping is buying goods and marketing is selling goods. It is always safe to say that I was going shopping because anyone who hears it is expected to assume that I was going to buy stuff. Snobbery and superciliousness are not good substitutes for good language and meaning.

Good advertisers and marketers are good at naming things. They look at things from different angles.  They look for meaning from every conceivable language and come up with a good name. Mess up and you have got a no-brainer.

Coming back to the star-spangled store, the name of the owner of the shop was obviously Anu. ANUS RETAIL. It seems that the lady had forgotten to apostrophize the possessive.

Merry Christmas to all my readers.