Friday, July 23, 2010

Names for things

Back to the gym today, where I walked up steps for 20 minutes, which apparently took me to 50% of the height of the Eiffel Tower. I'm not sure that machine can be calibrated correctly; either the Eiffel Tower is much taller than I think it is, or I'm a lot slower than I should be, or the 94 year old Taiwanese man I'm mildly obsessed by can climb stairs unexpectedly fast.

I won't recapitulate the account from Sunday about how much I perspired, only to mention that the area around the stepping machine looked like the aftermath of a broken air conditioner after my twenty minutes of suffering. I shambled off to get my monthly copy of Viz (Britain's finest cultural export?) and eat a burger, before heading home.

As I left the gym, I noticed a shoe shop over the street, with the unfortunate name of Aerosoles. Maybe they had a very low opinion of their prospective customers. Or perhaps the owner was trying to inculcate a low sense of self-esteem in the employees, who would have to answer phone enquiries with the phrase "Hello, we're Aerosoles." Either way, it didn't seem the most appropriate way to advertise some expensive high-heeled footwear, but then what would I know about that? (I was going to try a joke about the Wan King Construction Company here, but honestly, you deserve more. So much more.)

Today I spent part of the day on my project that's codenamed 'Swiss Cheese' and the rest of it, somewhat hypocritically, being annoyed that there was another project, 'Gummy Bear', where the name doesn't bear any real relation to what the project is. I mean, at least we know that 'Swiss Cheese' is fat, old fashioned, and in large quantities bad for your health.

And full of holes.

And I'm sure the efficient production of it would be assisted by a portly man playing an accordion.

Whereas what in the earth can Gummy Bear be? Something to do with raiding children's confectionary? Ingesting too many calories?

I tried to explain this approach to nomenclature, without getting a sympathetic ear. Either people think I'm a pedant, a nitwit, or they are more in favour of names like Blue Peacock or Green Cheese. But I can hope. I mean, I did once spend six months on a project I called Sausage Machine, and four years after I left that company, my handiwork (and my monstrously inappropriate1 name for a automated pricing and decision support tool) lived on. The good that men do is buried with them, etc etc.

1 Or fantastically appropriate, depending on your understanding of exactly what the Sausage Machine did...


Post a Comment