Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Where have all the good names gone?

I remember a young woman mentioned that there was a band called "Toad, the Rusty Sprocket".  I laughed and assured her that there was no such group.  She opened her trunk and produced a compact disc with tracks labeled by the group.  I have learned that the names of bands, the names of video games and the names of books, especially fiction but non-fiction, too, cover a wide range.  I knew I had probably written about Jacques Barzun's notice that "plastic" can mean flexible [he has a plastic personality] and rigid [the chair is hard plastic].  So, I used the search window on the web page of my blog at  

As I look up my uses of the word "plastic", I find that I have done some good writing.  I can be so interesting!  When you have been writing more than 2700 statements over a period of nine years, the whole business can cover a wide range of topics.  It is probably more or less inevitable that some interesting topics and some catchy language will come up.  It is surprising how this post or that picture can grab my attention and get me thinking.

I don't really think all the good names are taken.  Beyond that, I think that people are clever at inventing ways to make good names in new ways.  I recently ordered some business cards.  I know from experience that naming a business or creating an email address or naming a book or a recipe can be brain-stretching.  A name should be pronounceable.  Not a good idea to use something like "ZXPPD".  Despite my idea that would not be so good, I just put that combination of letters into Google and got nearly half a million hits.  You can see why a new band might have some trouble getting a name that is not already being used.

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