My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. -- Ernest Hemingway
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What's in a Name? Would a Rose by Another Name Really Smell as Sweet?

On the Importance of Names and the Meaning of the PieceWorx Name

I want to take a few minutes today to explore naming things and, in particular, why I chose the PieceWorx name.

I spend far too much time thinking about names. I've written before about the dozens of domain names I have. I've spent days trying to find the just right domain name.

As a software developer, one of my many mantras is names matter. It's very import to use precise and clear names for objects and classes so that code is not ambiguous.

As one who has also started several websites, businesses and blogs, I've spent countless hours trying to come up with the perfect name.

In the end, I generally fail.

Sometimes a name is great and sometimes it falls flat. It rarely has to do with the amount of time I put in. Here are a few names I've used in the past:

  • 4th Generation Innovations (4Gen)
  • Zentellect
  • Water Street Web Solutions
  • Cambia Research
  • ClicheWeb
  • The Dry Creek Review
  • Lutestriker

Not all that catchy, really, considering all the time I spent thinking about those names.

Names Matter

I like PieceWorx better than those other names, but what's in a name, really?

Wouldn't a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

No, it probably wouldn't.

What if a rose were instead called Humuhumunukunukuapua'a which happens to be the Hawaii state fish, or Rhinecanthus rectangulus which is the scientific name for the Hawaii state fish.

Can you imagine our debonair bachelor on the television show, The Bachelor, as he hands out the next rose? "Brittany, will you accept this Rhinecanthus rectangulus?"

Aww, how romantic.

Names matter.

But Not As Much as You Think

Having said that, they don't matter as much as people think. If you're struggling with what to name your blog or business, just pick something decent and move ahead. I know from experience that a name will not make you or break you.

A good name is a great asset, but a bad one can be, too, and it won't keep you from being successful.

If you do have a bad name, you can always turn it into an asset by pointing out what an obviously bad name it is.

"Stump Nail Salon (the worst business name ever)."

Who's going to forget that one?

Have a Reason for Your Character Names

Names are important in your writing, too. Take time to ensure that you have a reason for choosing the character names that you do, but just about any reason will do. A name can convey your character's greatest strength as in Braveheart for a courageous warrior or Luna for one who lights the way with her insight and advice.

On the other hand, a name may reflect the opposite of a characters greatest strength — a bouncer who goes by Tiny, for example. You might even name your main character Clark to convey his ordinariness, even though Clark Kent's alter ego is Superman.

PieceWorx, The Name

Alright, back to PieceWorx.

I happen to think the PieceWorx name is kinda catchy, certainly compared to other names I've come up with. But PieceWorx also has a lot of meaning behind it.

The first part of the name, Piece, represents at least three different ideas:

  • The word piece is often use to describe a written work and refers to the many pieces you and I will write.
  • Piece alludes to the step by step process of building something, one piece at a time, which is a cornerstone principle that I teach.
  • You can also substitute peace for piece and get Peace Works. "Can you dig it, man?!"

The second part of the name, Worx, is obviously a variation of Works and also connotes several key concepts:

  • Like public works or water works, worx represent a factory or utility. It's something reliable. It just works.
  • For some people, work is a four letter word, but for those of us driven by the internal desire to write, our work is a calling.
  • The term work also stands for life's work. Writing is your life's work, not just a desire to get published or quit your job or make a million dollars, although that would be great, too.
  • Works, in the plural form, stands for your many written works.
  • Works also means things you do, as in good works. The ways you help people with your writing whether entertaining, educating or encouraging are good works.
  • Finally, works can simply refer to when something goes right as in, "It works, it really works."

Put it all together in PieceWorx and we have a name which I'm proud of for what it means and what it connotes.

PieceWorx stands for the idea that the steady, consistent work of writing will make a positive difference for you and the world.