Help Me Find The Right Name . . .

. . and Ill name you

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has its Oscar. The television industry has its Emmy. The Animal Performers in Movies has its Patsy. The television-advertising industry has its Clio. And the Science-Fiction Writers of America has its Hugo. Im looking for a very special name. A name with the prestige of an Oscar. As clever-sounding as an Emmy. As honored as a Clio. And as rewarding as a Hugo. I plan to establish an IW Straight Talk Award. I want to give that award to selected chief executives of manufacturing companies, anywhere in the world, who are recommended to me by their employees as being straight-talkers -- CEOs who recognize the value, the importance, and the effectiveness of straight talk. The obvious name for this award is "The IW Straight Talk Award." But thats not acceptable. Its not clever enough or catchy enough. I want a name with sizzle. With pizzazz. A name that sings. A unique name. A name that people will remember. That chief executives will strive for. It can be one word like Bingo, Bango, or Bongo. Or two words like The Capo, The Brain, or The Mouth. It can be as high-tech as The Laser, Mighty Mouth, or Mr. Zap. It can be low-tech like The Boss, The SOB, or The Corner Office. Or it can be an acronym that stands for something about straight talk. Im looking for creativity here. Im looking for an uncommon name for an uncommon act. I have always been intrigued by the colorful names of English towns and villages. Im looking for that same kind of creativity in naming this award. Let me prime your creative pumps with ideas like these English villages: Fattahead, Goonspeak, Gigglesworth, Horsey Horror, Maggots End, and Pratts Bottom. Or Upperup and Upperdown. Or Steeple Bumpstead, Goontown, or Goongumpus, perhaps. If those suggestions dont inspire you sufficiently, how about these? They are names given to innocent children by innovative parents: Baxie Flippo, Oral Unklesbay, Peter Plopper, Church Mouse, Poop Adoop, Warren Peace, and Pickey Dickey Dukes. If those dont spark your creative genius, try Noah Crow, Aristotle Tottle, Mark Van Ark, and Louie Liffshitz. To receive the yet-unnamed award, chief executives must be nominated by an employee -- preferably their own. The recommendation: (1) must describe the situation that required the "straight talk," (2) must be a bona fide "straight talk" message, (3) must describe how the message accomplished its purpose, (4) must give me permission to write about the "straight-talking" executive, and (5) must give me permission to publish the names of the chief executive and the company involved, as well as the person making the recommendation. I am sure someone is going to suggest we call it The Must Award. But giving the award comes later. What I need now is a name. Lewis Grizzard wrote some hilarious books during his lifetime. But what made him stand out among his peers were his book titles. He is an excellent resource for creative names. For example: My Daddy Was a Pistol and Im a Son of a Gun, They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat, If Love Were Oil, Id Be About a Quart Low, and Shoot Low, Boys -- Theyre Riding Shetland Ponies. Ive outlined the challenge. Ive given you its purpose. Ive furnished some ideas and some suggestions. And Im about to offer an incentive. Send me your suggestions. Write me at Penton Publishing, 1100 Superior Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44114. Or fax me at 216/931-9675. Or send me an e-mail message at [email protected]. Deadline for entries is Sept. 18. A final suggestion: The name should be short and memorable to avoid the confusion that occurred recently when a bellhop paged Mrs. Zamradoskiovich. As he walked through the hotel lobby, a beautifully dressed, fashionably coifed woman signaled him. "Mrs. Zamradoskiovich?" he asked. "That depends, young man," she replied. "What is the first initial, please?" The Incentive: The person who comes up with the name I finally select will be named "Honorary Straight Talk Columnist of the Week" and invited to write a bylined column of his or her choice, published (subject to normal editorial approval and editing) on IWs Web site, Even Frankensteins monster had a name. Do you know what it was? Sal F. Marino is chairman emeritus of Penton Publishing Inc. and an IW contributing editor. His e-mail address is [email protected]

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