The Words

So today’s Waypost of Progress on the new site design centered on just one word.

When I started up this redesign, the title “Celestial House of Binary” knocked on my door and strolled right in before I had time to say “Come on in” or change out of my Betty Boop wig. To be honest, I wasn’t in the market for a new blog name — the Colossal Waste of Bandwidth still had a certain jenny-say-what about it — but it instantly occurred to me that any title beginning with the word “Celestial” was pretentious and vague and both of those things would fit in quite nicely with my plans for the site.

Then a commenter pointed out that I was only one letter away from retaining “CWoB” as the site’s initials, and suggested that I find another word to take the place of “House.”

“Damn you,” I replied, though in truth I was delighted that my next site-related project would be to write one single solitary word instead of mastering the art of WordPress theme construction.

I needed a new “W.” Ideally one that could fulfill the same role as “House”: something that meant a container or controller or somesuch. Lying on my sofa and staring blankly at the spider on my ceiling didn’t work out as well as I hoped (mostly I worried what would happen if the thing started descending) so I downloaded a Scrabble dictionary and scrolled to the”W”‘s.

Early candidates:

  • Wagon
  • Waypost
  • Waypoint
  • Waywode – Slavic military leader
  • Wairua – Maori tenet of spiritual wellness
  • Wallow
  • Waltz
  • Walkabout
  • Warbler
  • Wardrobe
  • Warehouse

And then I got more selective. I made it all the way to “Wellspring” before I added anything new to the list. The trouble is that even among those who had made it past the cattle call and earned an actual audition in front of Randy, Paula and Simon, there were no real “aha”s. They were either rather lame and non-catchy (“Wagon”), or they transformed the ironic pretentiousness of “Celestial” into actual pretentiousness (“Wellspring”) or else they fell afoul of the dreaded Renfair Syndrome.

Renfaire Syndrome: Unfortunate neurological condition in which you pretend that you thought that everybody knew what a Wyvyrn is (duh!), when in truth you chose that word specifically for the arrogant pleasure of having to keep explaining it to people.

By the end of this little adventure, I concluded that I could just turn the Colossal Waste of Bandwidth into the Celestial Waste of Bandwidth and call it a day. I get to keep CWoB, I communicate that I’ve done something new to the place, and if anything, I’ve actually intensified the mission of the original site.

After all, a Colossal Waste is simply a tragedy. A Celestial Waste of Bandwidth, on the other hand, is a mission from God.

6 thoughts on “The Words”

  1. I know you’ve made your decision, but did you consider…

    Celestial Wharf of Binary – An area to load or unload is an ideal blog descriptor.
    Celestial Wave of Binary – Both a visual greeting and an implication “ride along with me or get washed out”
    Celestial Warren of Binary – Down the rabbit hole we go.

  2. Have you considered Wafflehouse? Who doesn’t love waffles, and the potential for binary waffles? 01000100011001010110110001101001011000110110100101101111011101010101110011

    Oh, and a quick suggestion/question/request/thing…
    is there any chance of an audiobook version of the iPhone book? It would be really nice to be listening to the book and follow along on the iPhone itself. As I was reading your Tiger book I realized how much you write in the way you speak so it’d be very entertaining as an audiobook. Just a thought. Love the blog(s) and podcasts. Keep up the awesome work. (Awesome in a celestial huge sort of way, not awesome like a hotdog)

  3. @Jason – I’m actually working with Wiley to put together an audio offering. It won’t be an audiobook (though that really isn’t a bad idea; I’m curious to see how many people would go for that) but instead I’m hoping to put together a series of podcasts.

  4. @newbill – I made it pretty deep in the Scrabble list before abandoning the quest entirely. :)

    Like I said, it’s easy to be so clever about something that in the end, you’re the only one who’s in on the joke. Every time I hit upon a word I liked, I wound up picturing people sending me worried emails asking if I’ve joined the Moonies…or even worse, recorded a New Age meditation CD.

  5. You know, Andy, the most ephemeral (and Adamsian) way to solve this problem would be to simply call your site “CWoB” and leave it to the reader to make sense of the acronym…

    But then, I’ve been listening to my recording of BBC’s Dirk Gently dramatization, so any thoughts I have had or will have today are highly influenced by holisticity. (Yay! 50 points to me for making a new word!)

  6. I think if I were to do a properly DNA job of it, the acronym would be self-referential, like “CWoB World of Binary.” You know, so that any attempts at parsing it would trap the user into an endless recursion.

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