A rose by any other name

Today I had lunch with my friend Tom (aka., The Blogfodder).

I admire Tom tremendously. He’s brilliant and cultured, but he’s also practical and down-to-earth. He’s kind and generous, yet he keeps me honest. And above all, he has a wicked sense of humor.

We laughed at the goofy dish names as we perused the menu today. I had the mundane-sounding Chicken Tortilla Soup, but Tom ordered the more titillating BLT&A. (The “A” stands for “avocado,” in case you’re curious.)

Naming things is a strange business.

The best names are both descriptive and emotionally evocative. They’re memorable and they roll off the tongue. To wit: BLT&A. I just love saying BLT&A!

Unfortunately, for most businesses (and many copywriters) names are an afterthought. That’s how we end up with companies named ArcelorMittal, BearingPoint and Dimdim. Dimdim. Seriously?

I was reminded of the “perilous process” of making monikers when I looked at MyFonts.com‘s Rising Stars this evening. Among the recent stars is a font called Ataxia.

I can’t help but wonder: Does the foundry know that they’ve named their new product after a neurological disorder? And if so, what could they possibly have been thinking?

Maybe “Goiter Pro,” “Sciatica Sans,” and “Alzheimer Bold” were already taken.


  1. Hi again, hope you don’t feel I’m stalking you… 😉 I was in reflective mood, looking through some of what you have written about brain tumour, and ended up here. Good light relief after reading Tom Lubbock’s devastating record. I’ve spent the past year recovering from a traumatic brain injury myself, so am more familiar than I once was with terms like ataxia. What were they thinking?!! I’m going to have fun thinking of more now. Aphasia Italic. (Been there.) Cortex cursive. Limbic sans.

    This is a little weird, actually, getting a kick out of making font names out of neurological terms. Still, it takes all sorts. Don’t mind me.

    • No, I don’t feel like you’re stalking me. (And I know whereof I speak: I actually acquired a stalker in Paris. He was rather dashing, I must say, but a bit creepy in the end.) And no, I don’t think it’s weird that you got such a kick out of making font name out of neurological terms. I started it, right?! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, though — and so relieved to hear that you’re recovering. I’ll send you all the positive energy I can muster for a complete and full recovery. As they say in France, “bon courage!”

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