So I was talking with some friends the other night about what we would rename ourselves if we had the option today. Because we were SO tired from talking so long about global economics and books and smart kid stuff. My answer was of course Bartholomew Snizzlepuss. But you guys can still find me @danborrelli. Anyway, the point of this is that it got me thinking about famous things that were never given names. And why we call them what we call them. So here are 6 of those.
So the X-ray frequency was discovered by German scientist Wilhelm Rontgen. Well, it was discovered a short while earlier by a team but Rontgen gets the credit because he named it…nothing. Maybe he couldn’t decide on a name he liked, maybe all the good names for electromagnetic spectrums were taken, maybe he’s just likes to play by his own damn rules. Whatever the reason, Rontgen simple wrote down “X-ray” as a way of stating that they were, in fact, unnamed. The term sort of just stuck after that.
5. THE WHITE ALBUM
So it was a self-titled album. The problem was, people didn’t know that. Many bands tend to make their debut album self-titled and since the White Album came out at the height of The Beatles’ popularity, this may have cause some confusion. While it’s a well known story, something worth noting is that it’s still unknown if Ringo did, or did not in fact have “blisters on me fingers”.
4. STREETS IN CROWN HEIGHTS
I bet at this point Apple Maps would just explode trying to navigate through this neighborhood. The problem here is that there were never really meant to be widely used streets, so they never got named. But it got me thinking about how in a time when everything physical is so thoroughly documented in computers and online, how unnatural it feels to have unnamed streets. Does it really matter? Are we so married to our gps devices that we can’t simply call something “the alley behind the bustling and very profitable Blockbuster” like we used to in the 90s?
3. THAT THING YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE ON THE BATHROOM AND YOU’VE RUN OUT OF TOILET PAPER AND THE TOILET PAPER IS ACROSS THE ROOM SO YOU HAVE TO WADDLE OVER TO GET IT.
I’m gonna call it the squazzle. Either that or the Bartholomew Snizzlepuss in loving memory of the person I never became…
2. THAT 70s SHOW
So the story goes that during development they didn’t have a name for the pilot. Everyone just kept referring to it as “that 70s show”. And similar to the X-Ray, it just kind of stuck. I’m just hoping that with all of the remakes of 90s shows we get a “That 90s Show” at some point.
1. FLOPPY DISKS
I almost jumped off the roof when my 13 year old cousin didn’t know what a floppy disk was. To be fair though that’s technically not their name. Floppy disks were first called…nothing. Well, they were referred to as “memory disks” but didn’t have a formal name. Then people started calling them floppy disks because they were, well, floppy. I guess programmers don’t make good PR reps. Also big shout out to my boy Alan Shugart for inventing the damn thing and allowing me to play countless hours of Oregon Trail.
What would you have named these things? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting at me @danborrelli