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Thursday, February 23, 2006 

The Magic of a Name

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

--From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2), William Shakespeare

Had Shakespeare seen the future, perhaps, he would have thought twice, and rejected the lines from his most famous creation. The name seems to be a very powerful phenomenon by itself. Names have acquired paramount significance for themselves.

Brands are the most obvious example here. All jeans in India (right from Levi Strauss to the local Rs. 200/- jeans) are made from the fabric purchased from the same company, i.e. Arvind mills. But we go to a major shopping plaza, and easily purchase a pair of Levis for Rs. 1500/-, while for a jean with a similar quality (or just the tag of Levis missing or changed to some local make) one will bargain at fashion street, even if the price quoted is 500.

Similar is the case with perfumes. Many celebrities launch perfumes carrying their names. If the same perfume is filled in bottles and sold in the market with the celebrity’s name, the price one would be willing to pay is much lower. Similarly, the price of a bat with a star player’s autograph becomes worth 100 times more than the same bat without it.

The significance of names can also be seen in the prices offered for domain names. The more general is the domain name, the higher is the price for it. Fish.com sold for more than $ 1 million. Bills.com and earth.com followed closely. (For a complete list of domains sold for more than $ 10,000 click here.) There have been lawsuits filed for domain names regularly.

It seems that one’s name also determines the fortune of the person. Recently, one has seen people change names (or alter them) after referring to numerologists. An extra letter here or a change of letter there, and voila! The person suddenly becomes lucky. The latest victim of this craze is young paceman Sreesanth, oops Sreesunth.

And it seriously pisses me off, when people misspell my name!

There is actually a book by Sandeep Chaudhary which states that people behave according to the meanings of their names.

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