What's in a Name
From Γϱϝϡω Operación Operation Opération 作业 2ɩɟɪɚɰɢɹ. Published by Bookthug in 2016. Moez Surani is a poet and artist. He is the author of three poetry collections. He lives in Toronto.
During World War Two, Winston Churchill wrote a memo with directives for how to name British military operations:
1. Operations in which large numbers of men may lose their lives ought not to be described by code words which imply a boastful or overconfident sentiment… or, conversely, which are calculated to invest the plan with an air of despondency…
11. They ought not to be names of a frivolous character… They should not be ordinary words often used in other connections… Names of living people—ministers and Commanders—should be avoided. … After all, the world is wide, and intelligent thought will readily supply an unlimited number of well-sounding names which do not suggest the character of the operation or disparage it in any way and do not enable some widow or mother to say that her son was killed in an operation called “Bunnyhug” or “Ballyhoo.”
111. Proper names are good in this field. The heroes of antiquity, figures from Greek and Roman mythology, the constellations and stars, famous racehorses, names of British and American war heroes, could be used, provided they fall within the rules above.
These rules are still observable today. Most of the names, even those American ones that were generated automatically but altered and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have dignity, an inspirational loft, a sense of worthiness and tend toward the heroic.