Fri 5 Dec, 2008
The principal was a photographer who spent the last five years in the African wilds before he started the school. Every once in a while, his Ethiopian wife would appear in his office, reminding all of his glorious past. It surprised the staff to know that Mr. C. was, to an extent, once a person of the nature now that he had transformed himself into an unashamed profiteer.
For instance, he christened the school English Rocks! School of English. Mr. C. was extremely proud of the simple but doubly effective name, and never stopped bragging about it. ‘Think of the infinite beauty and minimalistic elegance of it! There are really only three words, which pretty much sums up who we are – English, a school, and one that rocks.’ ‘And,’ he continued. ‘The name loops on and on, like English Rocks! School of English Rocks! School of English Rocks! School of English Rocks!… you get the idea. Imagine the marketing power!’ The most remarkable thing about it, however, was not the fact that Mr. C. sincerely adored the name or that he applied for a patent on the use of infinite looping in brand names, but the absurd fact that the patent was approved and Mr. C. had since made quite a sum selling his invention to businesses that wanted to bank on its marketing power.
He detested such commercialization with cold vehemence. Names, after all, were supposed to mean something, not exploited in such a filthy manner. He could imagine calling out Yin May’s name in bed, of course, and that was precisely his point. Names were emotional attachments to their subjects, and should only be said (or moaned) when frank expressions of emotions were involved. Personally, he never called a person by the name unless necessary. Other variations, from ‘Hey’ to ‘Excuse me’ usually sufficed. In the few rare occasions when he did speak out a name, it was often with strong emotions and enunciated with emphasis, like in Yin May. Each time he said her name, he suffered a cardiac arrest for half a second. Everyday he repeated it, whether out loud or silently to himself, he adored her more.
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