what’s in a name


    It was on January 3, 1899 that The New York Times used the word “automobile” in an editorial, the first known use of that word in English.

    What would eventually come to be known as automobiles were still very new items, and the first mass production of them in America was two years away. The New York Times seemed equally disturbed by the machines themselves and the fact that there was no good word for them. It concluded: “There is something uncanny about these new-fangled vehicles. They are all unutterably ugly and never a one of them has been provided with a good, or even an endurable, name. The French, who are usually orthodox in their etymology if in nothing else, have evolved ‘automobile,’ which, being half Greek and half Latin, is so near to indecent that we print it with hesitation.”
    — from The Writer’s Almamac

    what’s in a name

    one of the first tasks given
    to our first human beings
    was to name the creatures
    that surrounded them
    from hydrax to hippopotamus
    aardvark to arachnid

    creation on a first name basis

    we’ve moved on beyond zebra
    to try and name our own devices
    machines and ideas that fill
    up our minds and cities
    faster than we can come to
    terms with our inventions

    existence in the crush of anonymity

    the world is exploding with
    both hatred and hope
    stand here and call me
    by name by my name
    and I will call yours then
    together we will name Love

    the Love that named us first


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