Someone Asks People For Better Names For Badly Named Things And They Get Hilariously Creative


When you sit down for a while and really start thinking about language objectively, you realize that a lot of things don’t really make much sense. There are inconsistencies and irregularities to account for. Not to mention philological decisions that simply sound illogical. But that’s the reality of language—the way it organically evolves isn’t always tidy.

Redditor u/johnnylgarfield started up an intriguing thread about linguistics on r/AskReddit. They asked everyone what, in their opinion, is badly named and what a better name for it would be. For example, why is a group of squid called a ‘shoal’ instead of a ‘squad’? It’s a head-scratcher! Scroll down for some more witty suggestions to improve the English language.

If we had the power to rename everything and anything, we could have a lot of fun. A snake could become a ‘danger noodle.’ Meanwhile, a hedgehog could proudly call itself an ‘ouch mouse.’ 

However, changing language inorganically is a heck of a task. You would essentially have to convince the majority of English speakers that a thing they’ve been calling one way their entire lives should be called something else.

You would need to provide a compelling reason for everyone to learn to call a thing something else. Not only that, but all of those people then have to get into the habit of calling the thing the name you tried to convince them is more logical. This is going to take a lot of time, resources, and repetition.

It’s much easier to do this with new concepts, products, and technologies. Just look at how quickly AI spread across the globe and became a household term. In the meantime, for many people, ChatGPT has pretty much become the generic go-to term for most large language model chatbots. How this will change in the future is something we can’t wait to witness.

From our perspective, no language will ever be ‘perfect.’ For one, it would be incredibly difficult to come up with a unified understanding of what a perfect language would even mean. On top of that, it’s all of those linguistic quirks that make learning and using languages so enjoyable.

Someone Asks People For Better Names For Badly Named Things And They Get Hilariously Creative Otto Preminger wrote his own biography and failed to title it Otto-Biography. Once in a lifetime pun, and he just threw it away.

hippo717 , ebay Report

That being said, some aspects frustrate not only your ordinary folks but philology experts as well. Linguist and neuroscience expert Arika Okrentis notes on ‘Aeon’ that “English spelling is ridiculous.”

“Sew and new don’t rhyme. Kernel and colonel do. When you see an ough, you might need to read it out as ‘aw’ (thought), ‘ow’ (drought), ‘uff’ (tough), ‘off’ (cough), ‘oo’ (through), or ‘oh’ (though),” Okrentis points out.

“The ea vowel is usually pronounced ‘ee’ (weak, please, seal, beam) but can also be ‘eh’ (bread, head, wealth, feather). Those two options cover most of it – except for a handful of cases where it’s ‘ay’ (break, steak, great). Oh wait, one more… there’s earth. No wait, there’s also heart,” the expert quips.

While millions upon millions of people around the globe have learned these linguistic quirks by heart, for non-native speakers, the process can be very frustrating. However, streamlining a language (if even possible) might remove many of the reasons why we fell in love with it in the first place.

Which of the linguistic changes featured in this post would you immediately embrace, dear Pandas? What things would you rename if you could? We’d really like to hear your thoughts on this, so if you have a moment, scroll down to the comments. (Meanwhile, we still think a group of squid should be called a ‘squad’…)

Someone Asks People For Better Names For Badly Named Things And They Get Hilariously Creative Miscarriages. Think about that – it’s essentially accusing the woman for “mis-carrying” the pregnancy. It places the blame on women for something that’s almost always outside of their control, and traumatic to boot. A much better and more descriptive term would be “pregnancy loss”, which is already used widely in many settings.

jollyllama , Karolina Grabowska/pexels Report

Someone Asks People For Better Names For Badly Named Things And They Get Hilariously Creative Bee Hotels – lil wooden structure that solitary bees can nest in from time to time.
That’s great – support local wildlife etc.

But seriously, who was the marketing genius that decided NOT to call them all “Bee&Bee”s??

L_E_Phantman , storebukkebruse/flickr Report

Shipments go by land, but cargo goes by sea. That s**t needs to be reversed.

SpareRam Report

S’mores flavored Oreos are NOT called “S’moreos.”

I mean, what are they even paying their marketing people for?

FictionVent Report

Abbreviation should be a much shorter word.

ButtMassager:

Abbreve works. Breve’s even better.

Masked_Daisy Report

A driveway should be a parkway and a parkway should be a driveway.

scottcmu Report

Uranus. Yeah it sounds like what it sounds like; but it’s also the only planet not named after a Roman god (in fact it’s not named after a god at all, it’s named after a Titan). It’s named after the Greek deity of the sky, and the father of the first generation of Titans.

It would almost be one thing if it was the last planet or something, but nope. Then we have Neptune, which is named after the Roman god of the sea. This leaves Uranus as the etymological sore-thumb of the Solar System.

The better name would be Caelus, because that’s the Roman equivalent, and it doesn’t sound like an inappropriate body part.

PhilosophusFuturum Report

Scarecrows are no crows. They should be called crowscares.

24benson Report

My daughter said podcasts should be called Ear TV, which I wholehearted agree with esp as the name podcasts is basically anachronistic now with the demise of iPods She also said bras should be called b**bytraps – she should probably go into advertising.

RosieFudge Report

Air Oven > Air Fryer.

It’s a small oven. It doesn’t just fry. .

BarryJGleed Report

My stepdad randomly called the fridge/freezers the oracles of food and it stuck. “Let me ask the oracles of food” sounds way more bad*ss than “let me check what we have in the freezer”.

gogogadgetdumbass Report

As a clarinetist, I hate that the fingering chart (little chart that tells you which fingers to use to play certain notes) is called a fingering chart. It’s suggestive to those with dirty minds. I’m not sure what a better name would be, but someone’s got to have one right?

Geminii27:

Pressure Points

Clari-fier

Clari-key

Fairly-on-note

Sudden_Ad_6921 Report

Near misses in aviation. Did you nearly miss? Then it’s a crash. Really should be a near hit or something.

TruckFoodWater Report

Pointed feet. At least in Dutch, they’re called “spitz-voeten”, with spitzen being the pointes ballerina’s wear.

My daughter looked at my feet and said “you have Barbie feet”, that’s what I call them now. It also reflects a lot better what my ability to walk is.

InternalPurple7694 Report

I am giving a serious response.
1. Borderline Personality Disorder is not being on the line between two different things. It is having difficulty regulating emotions.
2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a lack of attention or an overabundance of activity. It is the brain moving too quickly and the body can’t keep up. It is needing to structure things differently to be functional. It is being able to see things that others can’t.
3. Sexual Desire/Interest/Arousal Disorder is not a disorder at all. It is a different sexual orientation: asexuality.

quixoticshoes Report

I can’t believe I’m the first to say sexual tension should be renamed to Bangxiety.

tsavong117 Report

Uterus Didelphys (double uterus) should be called a “twoterus”.

WorryOk1870 Report

For all intents and purposes Starlink really should have been called Skynet if it wasn’t already taken.

MonParapluie Report

American “football”

Should be something more like Armor Rugby , etc.

diegoplus Report

Answering Machines never really got a f*****g name. They were always just like, some left you a message on The Answering Machine. I always thought it should have been The TeleCorder.

saylr Report


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