What’s in a name?

In Clients, Lateral Thinkers on September 4, 2011 at 8:37 am

I’m sure that Willy S wasn’t the first person to wrestle with that particular question, but it was he who immortalised it in his tragic love story to beat all love stories. Just to reprise the scene: Juliet Capulet is on the balcony, having that evening first clapped eyes on Romeo Montague down in the church hall. She’s pretty taken by him, he’s gobsmacked by her, having whimpered She doth teach the torches to burn bright and Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. (Franco Zefferelli does this love-at-first-sight scene particularly well in his 1968 film. I challenge you to look at Olivia Hussey and not melt.)

At the end of the dance, Juliet discovers to her horror that Romeo is actually the son of her family’s deadliest enemy My only love sprung from my only hate. Too early seen unknown, and known too late. Prokoviev captures this rivalry majestically in his Capulets and Montagues, written in the 1930s. How he would feel about it being used as the theme music for BBC’s The Apprentice is anyone’s guess.

So we find Juliet on the balcony bemoaning her fate. O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Why are you a Montague? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. (Those of you who have been brought up on too many Morecambe and Wise Christmas Specials with little Ern dressed as Juliet and Eric as Romeo might need to reach for the dictionary here and check out what ‘wherefore’ actually means.)

Which brings us nicely back to the title of our blog post. Would that which we call a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Of course, it would. And Romeo may not have met his untimely demise if his surname had been Smith (the Italian equivalent of which annoyingly is Ferrari, which could confuse my argument unnecessarily so I’ll stick to Smith. Or maybe I should have picked Jones in the first place?).

I’m wearing a rose in my lapel today because I’m trying to get in the zone. I’m frequently asked to dream up names for companies and products, most of which aren’t particularly fragrant. They need something to lift them from the unseemly mire that is today’s competitive marketplace. Some are easier than others. The one I’m currently wrestling with is for a virtual laxative.

How does Mind Over Matter sound?


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