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C. Paul Luongo's Published Columns

Friday, September 08, 2006

What's In a Name? The Cost of a Name? The Cost of History and Memories?

What’s In a Name? The Cost of a Name? The Cost of History and Memories?
By C. Paul Luongo

The Ritz-Carlton Jumper Classic. The Fleet Jumper Classic. The Fidelity Jumper Classic. Blah. Blah. Blah.

These days names of events, prestigious buildings, stadiums, yes even subway stops are all up for sale.

How’s this? Copley McSquare? Perdue’s Park Square? Datek’s Downtown Crossing? Armani’s Logan Airport? Schwab’s Sumner Tunnel?

But do we want it? All of these names are evanescent. Next year there will be another new name for the same venue depending on who’s paying for it.

Is there no sense of history or sentimentality?

You go to a ball and it’s The Tiffany Ball, The Saks Soiree, The Hilton Classic, The American Airlines Theatre? American Airlines? Whoa. Yes, give me a break. In Times Square, no less. Since when has American Airlines been known as an Impresario on the Big, White Way?

At a Ball all the Corporate Fat Cats sit together ringside and the peons are next to the kitchen. Does this say something about the “greening of America?” and America’s Greed?

How will our grandchildren recognize a place if the names keep changing depending on who paid for it last? Will it be the FTD Cemetery this year and the Allstate Gate of Heaven next year?

And how ‘bout the CMGI Stadium? Awful. The Tweeter Center, oh-my-God. The Staples Stadium. Stupid. Bad taste, bad karma.

Its even infiltrated our prestigious institutions. Get this. The Murata Dean of the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Why can’t we just have the Babson College Graduate School of Business? Isn’t that more appropriate and prestigious?

What’s next? Will the Pope rename it Alitalia’s Vatican City? Domino’s Leaning Tower of Pisa? Verizon’s Venice?

The Wal-Mart White House? AARP’s Viagra Vitamin Pills?

Good grief! Enough already. Please, I need my Bank of America Buffered Aspirin. And Good Night, Mr. Greenback!

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