We are officially running out of names. Not just for children, although that’s gotten completely out of hand lately (check Ollie’s blog for a list of this year’s celebrity ridiculousness), but for cars and bands as well.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be inside of something called a Yaris. According to the official Toyota site, “Yaris stems from a goddess in Greek mythology, named Charis, who was a symbol of beauty and elegance. We used the German expression of agreement, “ya”, because we think this new name best symbolizes the car's broad appeal in styling and is representative of Toyota’s next generation of global cars.” Yeah, OK. It’s a little too close to yonic for my taste, which is the opposite of phallic in case you didn’t know.
Totally OT, but did you know that yahoo is a real word? According to this site put together by a literature professor, it means “A coarse, filthy, smelly, bestial, barbaric, bipedal creature only vaguely resembling a human. Jonathan Swift coined the term in Gulliver's Travels, applying it to a race of humanoid brutes in contrast with the civilized race of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms. One wonders what the internet search engine Yahoo thus implies about its users.” Indeed. Good thing I always use the other one.
Then there’s the new Honda Fit. It’s not so much the name that bugs me as much as the first slogan “The Fit is go”. WTF? I guess it didn’t translate well from Japanese to English.
There’s also the Dodge Nitro, the Ford Edge, the Nissan Versa and the Volkswagen Eos. Not only are the names dumb, but they aren't even interesting. Why come out with a new car that looks like something else already on the road? And where's my flying car already?
This MSNBC article from August 2004 asks if U.S. drivers are ready for tiny Smart cars...since it's now almost 3 years later and they still aren't ready for U.S. freeways, my guess is no. I would love one of these things. They aren't very practical for long distances, but for city driving and quick trips, I think it's perfect. Here's a picture of me standing next to one that was parked next to Marie Antoinette's private residence on the grounds of Versailles, one of many we saw in England and France on our honeymoon in August 2000. Would you buy one?
Moving on...over the past several months I’ve been compiling a list of the most unusual, interesting and ridiculous band names that I’ve come across. They fall into several categories, the first one is names that are clever puns, wordsmithing or parodies of other band names:
Trailer Park Rangers (genious!)
The Wailin’ Jennys
The Velvet Teen
The Tender Box
The Bloody Hollies
They Might Be Vaginas (the song was called Party of 5 In My Underpants – really awful song, but loved the name)
Archers of Loaf
Duck & Cover
…then there’s the nonsensical names:
Toad the Wet Sprocket
Neutral Milk Hotel
…and the ones just looking for shock value:
Pretty Girls Make Graves
…and the ones that follow a naming convention of some sort:
Go-Kart Mozart (extra credit if you get the reference for this one)
The Dead Milkmen
The Moping Swans
Kitchens of Distinction
Gustav & The Seasick Sailors
Kind of Like Spitting
Scissors for Lefty
Evil Dick & The Congregation
I’m not passing judgment on these bands or their music (except for the aforementioned TMBV), in fact I’m a fan of some of this music. Maybe my true calling is in etymology. There's no money in it though.
The Wailin' Jennys -- This is Where m4a
Go-Kart Mozart -- Donna & The Dopefiends mp3
(right click, Save Target As)