What’s in a name?

Naming anything is fraught with peril. And plenty of opinions, usually negative or asinine. I always enter the arena of naming things with a couple things in mind. One is that you can’t please everyone and another is that a description is not necessarily a name. But it’s a good place to start.


As the yet-to-be-finished supporters of the Salina Fieldhouse are finding out, naming the building might be more difficult that it was to build it. “Salina Fieldhouse” is a nice compromise because it’s not really a name, it’s a description. The debate was about how descriptive they wanted to be, dropping the “Downtown” part.


The private-public partnership is a great way to get projects done, but a bit more problematic when it comes time to name it. Especially when that private agency is cumbersomely named itself.  The Salina Regional Health System, also known as a hospital, deserves to have their name as a part of it, but then we run into the problem of a name that anyone will ever use. Ask the folks at the Rolling Hills Zoo what peoples’ expectations are when you give something a name that’s to descriptive.


How a name look years from now is also a consideration. I’m sure in the thrill and build-up of the Bicentennial Year it seemed like a good idea to name the recently approved arena after it, but in hindsight it doesn’t make much sense. “Kenwood Cove” proves that you can combine location with as description and I’m also fond of Barkley Park, and so is my dog. So what’s in a name? A lot of handwringing and a lot of compromising.