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What’s in a name?

2 months ago

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Writer:

Dr Ulrich Eichhorn | Engineer

Date:

29 December 2023

Anyone who has ever watched Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats (almost everyone) or read TS Elliot’s original Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (hardly anyone) knows from The Naming of Cats that that each has (at least) three names: the one humans give, their cat name and the one only they themselves know.

Now cars differ from cats in rather more than their third letter, but not in their number of names.

All our cars start out with a usually very sombre, often computer-created ‘project code’; this is their first name, often to be followed by a secret ‘Project XYZ’ second name and – after possible code or name changes – a name under which the humans know them; aka, the name by which they are known when they come to market, or their ‘nameplate’ in US parlance. Development engineers and later owners might add a few more names, often not fit for printing here or perhaps just rather endearing, like my 1960 Bentley S2 known to the Eichhorn family as ‘The Lady’.

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