Where Are The Smith Brothers When We Need Them?
Published: February 28th, 2008
By: Shelly Reuben

Where are the Smith Brothers when we need them?

I have a proposal.

It is motivated by the bewildering number of drugs introduced over the past few dozen years, and the stupid – OK, I won’t mince words – idiotic, unintelligible, and counter intuitive names they have been given. Not only are they impossible to remember, but trying to spell them is like giving cardio pulmonary resuscitation to a language that was born dead.

Worse, they have absolutely no mnemonic value. Mnemonic, according to my faithful Webster’s Dictionary, means, “assisting or intended to assist memory.”

Examples of good mnemonic names are: Hamburger Helper. Jiffy Lube. Mr. Clean. Raid. Head and Shoulders. Fruit of the Loom. Lean Cuisine. Weight Watchers. And Roto Rooter. This last, in fact, is so good at conveying what it does that it has been appropriated by medicine to describe the process of cleaning plaque out of coronary arteries.

Products named after their founders can be equally as impressive: Levis. Tiffany’s. Nestles. Campbell’s. Hershey’s. McDonald’s. Not only are they memorable, they often find permanent resting places in our hearts. Levis? Everybody has a favorite pair of Levi jeans. Tiffany’s? We’ve all wanted to meet or be Audrey Hepburn having breakfast there. Campbell’s? Impossible not to think about Saltine crackers floating in a big bowl of tomato soup. Similarly, Hershey has our undivided loyalty for its kisses, and McDonald’s for its hamburgers (although my favorite has always been fish sandwiches with extra tartar sauce.)

Which brings us to the problem.


The Evening Sun

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