A theme of this week's entries has quietly emerged: I have been raiding my inbox for other people's thoughts rather than present my own. The trend continues: I got these thoughts from my friend Ananda regarding an entry I had scribed last February. My observation was that we have a tendency to officially name our buildings after businessmen but that doesn't mean we have to refer to them as such. He writes:
It seems to me that in general people these days are more willing to go along with names that are chosen by official bodies.
My first example is from your own number one hobby - professional sports. It used to be that fans and journalists would choose the nicknames for their favorite professional sports teams.
In the first half of the 20th century, when team owners took it upon themselves to change the names of their teams and the fans and sportswriters didn't like the new name, they just ignored it and continued to use the old name.
This happened with the Braves, Phillies, and Senators, who, if their owners had gotten their way, would have become the Bees, Blue Jays, and Nationals.
A couple of years ago, when the Washington Bullets changed their nickname to the Wizards, almost everyone hated the new name, but followed their corporate leader like sheep and now no one calls them the Bullets.
Similarly, last year the Republican-controlled Congress changed the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan National Airport. Almost no resident of the Washington area wanted the name changed to Reagan, but now everyone calls it that.
Hmm. It seems that not only are less likely to resist unpopular names, but the popular names that we create ourselves are often appropriated and sold back to us.
At least, I think so. I swear I can remember a McDonald's ad that referred to itself as Mickey D's. And I've always been curious about IHOP. Which came first: folks referring to the "International House of Pancakes" Restaurant as IHOP or those crazy IHOP signs by the highway?
Please let me know and save me from my writer's block for another day.