The beaver fades into Canada’s History

The beaver, the largest rodent in North America, is a national emblem in Canada. The first Canadian postage stamp, the three-penny beaver, carried its image. And one of Canada’s oldest magazines carries its name.

Sent to Scunthorpe

But not for much longer, according to the Economist. From April The Beaver will be renamed Canada’s History. You can guess the reason why. As beaver has become popular slang for female pubic hair, market research unsurprisingly indicated that many women and people under the age of 45 said they would not subscribe solely because of the name.

Readers also complained that Internet filters were blocking emails and newsletters from The Beaver. This is known as the Scunthorpe problem, after the town in England whose residents were unable to register with AOL because the name Scunthorpe contained an obscene word.

So beaver goes the way of other innocent words such as gay, queer and pussy – into the spam filter of history.

Time Warner’s naming twavails

When it comes to name changes, the Time Warner organization has had more than its fair share of unfortunate miss-steps.

Time Warner’s misbegotten merger with AOL produced the behemoth ‘AOL Time Warner’ in 2000. It was a fractious marriage and the promised synergies never materialized. When Time Warner executives regained their senses and control of the company they dropped AOL from the corporate name in 2003 before finally ridding itself the business in 2009.

In this case the name was the least of Time Warner’s problems, however humiliating the unraveling may have been.

Its offspring, Time Warner Telecom, has made much heavier weather of its naming challenge.


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