Friday, October 19, 2007

How names are a problem

Those old enough will remember a diet product from the early 1980s that was unfortunately named "Ayds" and was pronounced "aids."

When the public health catastrophe with the same sounding name began to grab headlines in 1982 and 1983, the manufacturer of AYDS pulled the plug on the product. Sure, they could have kept the product going, tried to explain what it was, and tried to plug through the laughter that tended to erupt when someone heard the slogan "Lose weight with AYDS."

But they knew it was a lost cause. The name was gone, as far as being something people could use for a product.

I'm not suggesting that the name Lutheran is that far gone. No one laughs when they hear the word. But for us, the bigger problem is that they don't understand what it means. For a church body, that's a bad problem.

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