A rose by any other name….

Why, when a business is under new ownership, do they change the name? I could see if the business was doing poorly and they don’t want a bad reputation to keep away customers, but here are some examples of name changes which were not only idiotic, but most people continue to refer to these businesses by their former name: Now The Roger’s Centre, we Torontonians will forever call it the Skydome. They could have at least called it Roger’s Skydome, but no, they had to disassociate themselves from what cost tax payers millions of dollars to build, and while they paid mere peanuts to purchase the edifice, they refused to keep the name. Well, Rogers, you will never get me to call it anything but Skydome!

Another staple is at Ontario Place; to me, it will always be the Ontario Place Forum, NOT The Molson Amphitheatre. And they stopped having the stage revolve so it’s not even worth bothering with as far as I’m concerned. And they changed the name of this theatre as often as they can find a new buyer, but it will always be The O’Keefe Centre to me, as I’m sure it is for millions of others. Same goes for the Chick ‘N Deli, which by the way happens to be where my husband of nearly 24 years and I met on March 25, 1990. Honestly, I don’t even know what the name is at present, and as they were at least bright enough to keep the huge chicken on the roof of the establishment, it will forever be referred to as Chick ‘N Deli.

These decisions do not come cheap. Imagine all the business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and for businesses which still produce physical cheques to their employees and suppliers, these too must be changed, as well as the name for the bank account, and so on. Other changes must be made to the listing in the Yellow Pages, the post office, store signage, Google Maps, etc. That’s a lot of work, and often is just not worth it nor is it a good idea. Not to mention (but what the heck, I will anyway) monies spent on advertising campaigns to alert clientele of the change to the company name. How many millions of dollars were wasted when changing from Skydome to Roger’s Centre? And who do you suppose pays for these changes? You got it, Pontiac; you and I in raised costs at the box office, increased costs to vendors who in turn raise the prices of their wares.

Changes to names are not always measured in dollars, but in sense; common sense that is. I wonder if older people of colour are confused, as when they were very young, they referred to themselves as Negros. In the 60’s, the Black Panthers came to be, and told their brothers and sisters they should be proud to be Black and demanded to be referred to as such. Maybe some of you will remember the terms Black Power and Black is Beautiful. However, now these same people, regardless of their family’s origins and despite many never having originated from Africa, they are now all called African Canadians/African Americans. I rather resent this as not only are many not of African descent, but if these people are first, second and third generation Americans or Canadians, then they should forget their ancestry and how about saying Canadians or Americans, full stop? I don’t call myself Polish/Romanian/British/American Canadian, I call myself Canadian; end of! If someone is really interested in my heritage, I am happy to tell the where my ancestors are from, but I don’t feel the need to call myself anything but Canadian. Yes, I am proud of my roots, but I am just as proud if not more proud that I immigrated to Canada in 1973, and am now a Canadian citizen. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all that needs to be said.

Something else which bothers me are the High Definition channels which decide to rebrand the same old channels; for instance, at one time we had RUSH HD, which then became RadX, and is now BBC Earth. I don’t really care what they name or rename these channels, but I do resent them marketing it as though they are new channels, new ADDITIONAL channels, which they are not. The so-called new channels offer the same programming, so why the bother? Ever wonder why costs keep escalating on your Bell bill, or whatever television provider you are with? Well, here’s a perfect example of waste; do you really give a monkey’s if the channel you are watching is called Oasis or Love Nature (what a dopey name, I mean, all other channels have one-word names?) Personally all I care about is what channel the program I wish to watch or record on our PVR, not the name of the channel.

So, to sum up this blog, I repeat, name changes without a really good reason is a waste, and in many cases, the original name is what people remember and how many people, places and things will forever continue to refer. Surely there are better ways of spending money, and if these corporations have too much money on their hands, how about giving their employees a raise, or doing some team building to bring employees closer together, or donating some to a worthy cause; anything but wasting it. And as for the newly labeled people of colour, considering how many people gave their lives to proudly be called by this, I still believe Black is Beautiful!

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