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Issue No. 44 - 2012

The Executive


What’s Behind That Name? Of names, bards and other stuff Victor Calleja Victor Calleja asks a few pointed questions which do not necessarily affect management and business. But then again could a name of a company lose contracts and revenue?


he revered Bard once said something about a rose and the way it smells and that whatever you call a rose it will always smell sweetly. For starters I will not dare oppose anything the mighty Bill said. Can one in fact call the distinguished and much-performed playwright, Bill? Or does that appellation render him slightly less of a myth and more of the chummy guy who lived, loved and tended to his daily needs just like all of us less distinguished gentry? So the name does maybe inflict horrors on its own subject. Or at least it does change it a bit. If we called the rose something awful like offal or crap, the rose might not have reached the same heights it has reached notwithstanding what Shakespeare did say. If you call your teddy bear Mr Hyde I’m sure he won’t remain as cute and cuddly as he could or should have been. You’d want to definitely hide when Mr Hyde calls his friendly thugs and asks you to join their midnight picnic. An unbearable or unhuggable teddy bear is as monstrous as a foul-smelling rose. The history of names and words does sometimes verge on a definite contradiction of what Mr Shakespeare made Juliet tell Romeo about roses and their quality whiffs. If my poor suffering editor will now permit me, I’d like to talk about some proper nouns. Or rather some improper proper ones. Wouldn’t Ira Losco’s ire be justified if she lost a lucrative music deal worth loads and with assured success in various foreign camps? Or if Kurt Calleja,

fresh from his great footwork at the Eurovision, had to curtail his contract which could have been worth a few sackfuls of cash? Sounds mad? Not if the company offering the lucrative deals is called Yes that is the name of a company ( not Maltese I presume) which trades normally and is into music professionally and not porn or any form of penile extension. I’m not sure I will be allowed to spell out the name of the music company. I imagine a family-friendly publication in ultra-Catholic Malta will surely make me spell the name as Z***. I imagine it’s because the name, in Maltese, is also the vulgar improper name for - I’m sure you all know this - the male member. I might also be called in to a friendly police cell to explain why I used such a word to be seen by all good, honest and innocent readers. Would any singer in Malta or Gozo accept to be sponsored by such a

phallic-sounding company? So can we say that the Bard did get this wrong? If instead of Z*** the company was called Wandmusic. com or then all Maltese singers would accept the deal. Deal or no deal? Depends a great deal on your company name or the place you clinch the deal itself. I don’t think the owners of Fartex really had a whiff of what they were letting off when they christened (does one christen a company?) Fartex. Yes this was the name of a manufacturing company in the textile field. I’m not sure if it is still around or if it’s gone with the wind. Names damn us or at least sometimes maim us. Mothers and fathers are becoming terrible with their names and inflict a load of eternal suffering on their dear children while affording endless fun and joy to their friends, foes and fiendish journalists.

Yes that is the name of a company which trades normally and is into music professionally and not porn or any form of penile extension

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Issue No. 44 - 2012

The Executive relief was divine especially when I saw a GOD 007 approaching Msida which was jam-packed. I half held my breath in case our own Godwin Bond waved a hand and all cars would, like a divided sea, move to the side. Moses did one such trick with the red sea and the Egyptians, as Back when you were only allowed they say, turned into aquatic history. 3 letters and 3 digits as a way of There was the unfortunate man christening your motor vehicle, whose car registration was RZZ-088. some had personalised their number plate to read anything from GOD He paid the extra amount to have 123 to GOD 666. Now I know his personalised number plate as he our driving is diabolical but did we was presumably born in 1988 and really need gods driving around and had Rizzo as his surname. Then he about? Our roads would give any was told by the authorities that his god a few testy minutes of definite number plate was illegal and broke road rage. After my initial shock at some law. If you read it properly seeing God Himself, or rather Gods, in Maltese his registration number driving around in battered little had obvious undertones of the male cars I was relieved to realise that it member in Maltese (Mr Rizzo’s wasn’t the Almighty come to visit unfortunate story first featured in us transformed into an ordinary The Times). So while the music driver of strange, small and not-so- company mentioned above can keep small vehicles. It was a few Godwins their name Mr Rizzo can’t. who had spent a few extra cents to christen their cars in as close a way The list, alas, goes on and on and to their own name as possible. My only God, not Godwin, knows how It would be great if parents and owners of establishments (would you seriously buy donuts or pies from a shop called Terminal?) stop burdening their suffering offspring and Cos with nomenclature baggage which is quite hard to shake off.

Opinion many howlers and misunderstandings happen with names we give to companies and to our precious children. I could be the eternally born loser but with my name of Victor I’ll always be greeted with laughter each time I come a proper cropper and, as usually happens at games I take part in, I lose. If I played a game of tiddlywinks and lost would I be the losing victor? Would the Bard approve of my own silly winner of a name? Often I look up into the sky where, I imagine, most heavens and the deities reside and think of my long departed mother’s ironical touch to my own name. And smile at her sweet wickedness. Victor Calleja has been involved in publishing, marketing, and anything concerning the written word, for over thirty years. He is now a part-time but very opinionated journalist who delves deeply into a number of subjects.

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What's behind that name?  
What's behind that name?  

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