February has got to go.

What kind of name is that for a month?

Half of us pronounce it one way — FEB-rue-airy — and half of us pronounce it another way — FEB-you-airy.

Lazy folks like me usually go with the latter, because that’s easier to say. The first one sounds like French or something.

It’s doesn’t help that February, which lumbers into town Friday, is the grimmest month of the year, the frozen-dog days of winter.

The month also has a shady history.

When it was first added, in roughly 715 B.C., it was the last month on the calendar. It moved to its present position approximately 263 years later, but nobody could decide how long it should be. Sometimes it lasted only 23 or 24 days.

At one point, a 27-day month named “Intercalaris” was added right after it.

Leap years came along in 45 B.C.-ish.

This terrible, awful, no-good, very bad month reportedly was named after a Roman festival called “Februa.” When’s the last time you attended a Februa?


Clearly, it’s high time to give February a new name.

Off the top of my head, I’ll go with “Hell.”

As in, “I’ll be out of town from Hell 22nd to Hell 27th.”

OK, you’re right. Probably not feasible.

Even famous folks have taken a run at renaming February, without much luck. Charlemagne went with “Hornung.”

The Old English terms “Solmonath” and “Kale-monath” aren’t ringing my chimes either — although I do appreciate the fact that Solmonath meant “mud month.”

If you have a better idea for February, I’m all ears.

Humped-up language

As it turns out, one of my pet peeves — jamming two words together and keeping the second word capitalized, a la FirstMerit and FirstEnergy — has a name.

A savvy colleague pointed out that the practice is called “camel capitalization,” because there’s a hump in the middle.

Cute name. Crummy trend.

I think camel capitalization should be marched out into the desert and deserted, far from civilization. But this horrendous practice is not going to die anytime soon.

As if the prevalence of camel capitalization weren’t bad enough, an even more egregious naming offense was pointed out by another savvy colleague: Some organizations can’t make up their minds, so they use both camel and non-camel capitalization.

Exhibit A: Thistledown.

Or ThistleDown.

It depends.

At a recent news conference, our incredulous reporter, Rick Armon, asked specifically whether the D should be “up” or “down,” and was told it is up in the logo but down in all other uses.

Heaven help us.

Thrust upon them

Sometimes, a funky business name is not entirely the fault of the business. This from a woman named Tierney May of Innovative Autocare.

“My family’s auto repair business has a name that looks like a typographical error, because it is an error.

“When my father opened up shop on Sept. 16, 2001, in the Portage Lakes area, we were named ‘Innovative Auto Care.’ But the first printing of our business cards came back with ‘autocare’ misspelled as one word.

“It just kind of stuck.

“But what can you expect when he let his daughter have the name Tierney, which is actually a boy’s name? Then again, my mother chose it, so he wasn’t responsible for that, either.”

Professorial twins

An anonymous jokester who works as a professor at Kent State had no qualms about sabotaging a colleague by sending me an email with the photographic comparison shown here.

The whisteblower was sitting in a workshop when he was struck by the similarities between Yossef Ben-Porath, a noted professor of psychology who helped develop a personality test known in the biz as MMPI-2-RF, and another professor who “is quite likely more familiar to your readers.”

That would be Prof. Bunsen Honeydew from The Muppet Show.

Separated at birth, indeed.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.