What’s In A Name?

Volume II / Issue 16 — 3 August 2021

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote: “”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare, ca. 1600) It suggests that a name is irrelevant and inconsequential. And yet, in Doctor Who, we had The Shakespeare Code episode where the Doctor names the witches as Carrionites, a species who use the power of words to do harm (which the Doctor then uses against them, cheeky man). The witches know the power of words and use them to manipulate and control. For them, what’s in the name is whatever they can use to their advantage.

What’s really in a name? What’s in a word? My father used to love to understand the etymology of a word, and when my good friend Ali owned a bookstore, he fueled his curiosity by ordering a complete OED (Oxford English Dictionary) from her. Something I now cherish.

Names and words define an object or an experience. They can also commemorate one, like naming a newborn for a deceased loved one. So, when it comes to creating titles of books, it is not surprising that even the tiniest detail matters. We can discuss capitalization and word choice beyond what might seem “normal” to others. The subtitle can be even harder to pin down.

Having the right title is one of the key elements of creating any book, and it especially informs the book’s cover. The next time you’re in a bookstore—or browsing an online catalog—take a moment to really look at the titles. Read them and pause. In a single moment, they need to capture your attention and give some hint (or sometimes no hint) about what lies inside.

So, what’s in a name? Absolutely everything.

Be well,

We have a lot on the way this summer. Sign up today to be the first to hear about our upcoming offerings!

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their  proper name.”
– Confucius-


We have a wonderful list of titles coming this fall. 

From beautifully illustrated children’s books to meditative practices with angels, from a research-based approach to managing stress to poetic reflections on being human… and so much more! 

You are sure to find something you love in our fall catalog.

From the IOM Blog

You Want Me To Feel What?

A Body Approach to Tonglen
by Kate Brenton

Let me start by saying, if you are well versed in Tonglen, the Buddhist practice, please note that this is my personal account and there is a more formidable reference at the bottom. Now, on to our story.

At least 12 years ago, a very well-financed (from a source I could not see, although I lived in her guest bedroom which she rented out) woman practiced buddhist practices and hosted Lamas on her estate off a dirt road in a pretty place.

“I am off to practice, Tonglen,” she said to me as I was making my fruit smoothie.

“Tong- what?” I asked.

(continue reading)

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