I absolutely adore William Shakespeare. His biting wit. The agony that drips from his characters. Above all, however, I love the language and the poetry. I struggled to get through his required works in high school English, but as an adult, I have excitedly watched dozens of his plays performed under summer stars and fleece blankets. Seeing his characters move around the stage reciting months’ worth of memorized lines helped me to visualize and feel Shakespeare’s words, and ultimately, learn his language. I am a word girl. And if you love words, as I do, then the selection of each and every one, in every application, matters.
In Act II of Romeo and Juliet, the two young protagonists are conversing about their last names and how the enmity between their families prevents them from being together. Juliet bemoans their situation in one of the most famous lines from that tragedy,
“O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
For a lover of words, that is not an easy line to digest.
Say it out loud.
Even as I do so, my nostrils are filled with the dreamy scent of my grandmother’s front yard and the massive blooms that used to line her split rail fence.
But I am also a realist. I know that it is not the name by which we know a flower that makes its buds burst with perfume in the spring. It is the flower itself. Call it what you will. The bloom and scent remain unchanged.
I found myself recalling Juliet’s words over the past few weeks as our team carefully and prayerfully considered feedback we received about Priesthood Packets™.
“We love the product, but are concerned that people might object to the name.”
My brother came up with the name Priesthood Packets when he was a teenager. We have talked about them, calling them by that name, for years in our family. It never occurred to us that the name might be offensive to some or touching, too closely, on things that are sacred. So, we pondered changing the name to Oil Packets™. And then pondered it some more.
Juliet’s words swirled in my head while I slept one night while making this decision.
“What’s in a name?” she whispered.
And before my eyes even fluttered open, I realized that I knew the answer.