Ashish wonders how and why cars get names like Adam, Laura, or Eon?
I’ve always been fascinated with human evolution and often wonder about extremely silly, yet intriguing, things about the journey from our monkey-days to our modern form. One thing that gets the spotlight is the progression of our vernacular.
Why couldn't we continue maturing or evolving with the same dialects that existed during the initial part of human evolution? Even after we became modern, how did our sociolect efforts take the shape they did? How and why did we choose to call an ‘apple’ an apple, and not, say moron instead – and visa-versa for that matter? Imagine, we could just as well be hurling apples as abuses, and eating morons for good health!
How and why did we start naming things the way we did? Oysters, rainbow, watches, cars — why do they mean what they do? I know nomenclature is actually a science, and I get its importance. But what was going on in our minds that we decided to call nomenclature, nomenclature? That must’ve been a pretty hard word to even think of during the formative years of Homo sapiens.
But, as I said, I understand the importance of language and naming things. Imagine if we’d not given characters of identification to everything, we’d only be making one sound — a rather weird one, I imagine — for everything. Every being and every thing would have the same identity — that one sound.
Never mind that, though, let’s get a little more specific. There’s a unique trend in the way automotive manufacturers give names to their products. Component manufacturers mostly go alphanumeric, which gives a very unemotional identity to whatever they produce. Have you ever come across a ball-bearing called Sofia? I bet not! Car models, however, mostly get very dynamic names – and they always mean something. Sometimes the names may mean the complete opposite of what the car really is, but that’s the silly optimism of the carmaker — sense of humour anyone?
While carmakers come up with names for their cars that represent something superlative, there are some massively unfortunate mishaps too. Yet, there are many owners who like giving personalised names to the cars they own. I have a friend who named his Maruti 800 ‘Joe,’ while another acquaintance named his Ambasador ‘Balram.’ Hema Malini named her’s ‘Dhanno.’ She was a horse — Dhanno, that is.
So, when people give human names to their carriages, why not make it default from the manufacturers’ side? Some have tried — Skoda Laura went south in many ways because, well, you know why… it was a cracking good car nonetheless. I bought one. Globally, the most recent that pops up in mind is Opel Adam — which sounds fine, I think. But, would you take a car seriously if it were named Dorothy? Or Sue? Or Pete? Or Santosh? Or Ramanujam?
Yeah, I think not. So, even if McLaren decides to name something MP4-12C, or 570S or P1, let it. If Hyundai decides to name something Eon, no matter how far removed the vehicle is from the meaning of the word – let it. Those naming guys know a thing or two about their jobs, I guess. But sometimes, not!