Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's in a name?

Flying across country, 30,000 feet or so, head above clouds, Bloody Mary in hand, iPad on lap. Wi-fi as well, bouncing around the ionosphere @ $12.95 for the duration of the flight. And so, in this contemplative mood, I ponder a few questions.

Names, for example. Jamie Boudreau, barman extraordinaire, has a new place on Capitol Hill which John Sundstrom once called Licorous. In French, that would be liquoureux, sweet. In English, it becomes a pun on licorice. Boudreau continues the game. He named his place, but the logo, as you can see, is a cannon. Does this mean he can't spell? Or does the name signal an intention to follow a strict canon of cocktails? Or maybe Nikons aren't welcome? The subtitle of the (very pleasant) bar is Whiskey & Bitters Emporium, which has a a bit of an Old-Fashioned (get it?) ring to it. Still, I wish the graphics designer or whoever spec'd the Classic Typerwirter font, had actually spelled it Cannon.

That confusion isn't nearly as dumb as the new pizza joint on Queen Anne, the one that took over from Sezoni. Yes, Domino's sells lots of pizza, but calling your shop Domani isn't going to get you a lot of accidental walk-ins since there's a real Domino's about half a mile north. I've got to think it was that the owner liked the Italian sound of Domani without realizing that domani is the Italian word for tomorrow. Do you really want your pizza delivery business to be called Tomorrow? As Annie sings it, your pizza's only a day way. The Italian version of the lyrics: tomorrow never comes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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