Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meet the Anagram Twins.

Anagrams are the geekiest geeks in the nerdy world of words. Except for the odd cruciverbalist (crossword buff in layman parlance), not many really care about their existence. Two unlikely people deserve all credit for giving anagrams the attention they deserve - Jim Morrison and Axl Rose.

Jim Morrison, the god of rock and singer-songwriter of The Doors, was the first to inject the concept of imprinting remixed names into popular consciousness via music. His now popular ‘Mr. Mojo Risin’ refrain in the ‘L.A. Woman’ song is but a sonorous shuffle of the eleven letters in Jim Morrison.

Axl Rose, the sex symbol and lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, is arguably the best known anagram in the world. Not many know that William Bruce Rose picked the name ‘Axl Rose’ as his new identity as it seemed to be an oomphy variation of ‘oral sex’!

Sadly, anagrams have been underexploited by namers across the globe. ONIDA (a play on NOIDA) is the only top notch Indian brand to have embraced this technique. I attribute the severe poverty in anagrammatic names to lack of skilled wordsmiths in our country.

While it might be difficult for many to derive a ‘Western Union’ from say ‘No Wire Unsent’, still, there’s no harm in trying. When a Tirupur based lingerie brand approached me to create an international sounding name, I just wrestled with the word ‘Innerwear’ and it resulted in ‘Anne Wrier’. So you never know when you’ll strike gold.

In case you want an easier way to create names, all you have to do is to rejig an already famous name. I call such creations, ‘Anagram Twins’. To demonstrate my point, let’s take Nivea. If I wanted a moniker for a French Alps-based mineral water brand, all I have to do is to stir Nivea and get Evian.

The beauty of giving birth to anagram twins lies in the fact that they can yield names that work in a totally different culture. A Latin sounding Visa can take the form of the Indian Siva. The fashionable Esprit can morph into the no-nonsense Sprite. And the corporate IBM can become the cool MIB. Two much, na!