I often notice street names, an early influence from my mother, who would regularly exclaim “imagine having to write THAT down as your address for years!” whenever we came across a particularly funny example.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Oxfordshire, where we discovered Penguin Cottage. The name made us smile, and we spent a good while imagining how it came about, who lived there, and whether the penguins had gone away for the summer as they found the climate too hot!
Yesterday, in London, I walked past one of the many impressive construction sites continuously changing the skyline of the city. This building had been named The Scalpel and I wondered who would be calling that address their workplace. Which business would occupy the steel and glass construction, and to what extent would the name of the building convey to its occupiers a behavior that was expected of them?
Similarly, we use words to describe ourselves. These words give us and others a sense of who we are. So do we think carefully about which words we use? Or do we simply repeat what was said to us by others (or even ourselves) in the past? And much more importantly, which words would we like to use in the future?
In our busy lives, we don’t often stop and think. But small adjustments can make a huge difference! I for one will stop calling myself ‘bossy’ and shall use ‘assertive’ instead.
What new words could you choose for yourself?