This place matters

This place matters

Sunday, October 17, 2010

O for a muse of fire

Once upon a time in another life, I half-owned a freelance writing and editing company, and while the many ways in which I bollocksed that up could regale you for hours I've got a more specific mission in mind.
See when we started the thing, I had my heart set on the name Calliope for the business. Calliope was the Greek muse of epic poetry, and I think it's an awesomely pretty name. Although I soon found out that most of our customers had no earthly idea how to pronounce it. We got a lot of "Cal ee ope."
I was just thinking the other day how funny it is that so many businesses still have names with origins in Greek and Roman mythology.
  • There's Ajax, the brand of scouring powder, so named because (I would assume) Ajax was a badass in the Trojan War. 
  • Delphi was, according to legend, the place where the oracles hung out. Delphi also used to be the name of an ISP, because, I assume, the Internets can predict the future.
  • There's the BACCHUS Network, the campus anti-drinking organization ironically named after the god of wine and revelry (runner up for the most ironically named campus group: Campus Crusade for Christ. Really? Really?).
  • Nike was the goddess of victory - the Nike swoop is supposed to represent the goddess's wing.
  • Of course, there are Trojan condoms. Interesting note for your personal safety - despite Trojans having been wicked strong in battle, Consumer Reports put out a study some years back finding that Trojan was not the strongest of the major condemn brands. That honor goes to Durex, which isn't named after something from myth at all. I guess it's a little weird to name a prophylactic after a city whose claim to fame is allowing invading armies to sneak in and destroy their civilization...
So there's that, and a million more. Wonder why it's that particular mythology that sticks around? You don't see to many businesses named from Celtic mythology; although you do find two characters from Celtic mythology in my house - Puck and Brigid. Jeremy's the odd man out in my house, I guess, not being named after anything from myth. Maybe we could rename him. Is there a god of epic grumpiness?

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