Writings by Tim Girvin

Naming is a magical thing; it is a process that uncovers the spirit of an object, a process, a being and calls it into the context of our waking reality. Naming is the illustration of thought as part of a string of words held together in the linkage of a sentence. (Illustration means, in the original context: "to bring light to").

For members of the Ideator team, and others dabbling in the realm of etymology, the history of words, naming becomes a wonderful revelation of the connectedness of language. Etymology has its other side, as well. To the Greeks, the etymon was the true meaning or spirit of a word. Etymology attempts, as a science, to get at this wisdom.

Most scholars agree that the basic root of our present set of languages emanated from a region roughly described as an area north of the Baltic Sea. This "region" is the mothership of the Indo European seeds that emanate to the East for the Iranian, the Indus Valley and Far Eastern tongues, to the south, beyond the Tigris and Euphrates deltas to the Sinaitic and the Semitic groups, North Africa and the languages southward. Also springing from this wellspring of speech are the languages of the Mediterranean, the Greek, the Etruscan and the Roman expressions, finding their way Northward to the talk of the Goths and the other tribes. Old German, split with the idioms of Latin, spread to the evolving languages of Spain, Portugal, France and the British Isles. All of these tongues shared components over commerce and the transitions of conflict and war.

Father, a word whose origins lay in the dim past of the Indo-European realm, started with the Sanskrit: pitr, then to the Greek: patr (or similar), thence to the Latin: Pater. The rolling Goths, in their progressive sacking of the Roman empire, translated the word to: Vater, or Veder, which later, moving West, became Faeder, or Father in the speech of the later Old English.

Some words are ancient expressions that can be used to describe a thing without calling up its "spirit". Bear, for instance, is an IE root to define a "large brown thing". To use its more ancient, "secret" name, its taboo name, might actually call the spirit into the present circumstance. "Bear" was a convenient way of avoiding this challenge. "Don't use the Lord's name in vain" speaks to the power of the misuse of a potent name. Some religions have secret, unknown names for their principal deities that can't be called out without exposure to almighty wrath.

Some etymologies have further cultural and historical connections. The concept of nothing, or naught, is a later revelation in the history of Western civilization. It wasn't until later in the Middle Ages, that the concept of zero was accepted by Christian mathematicians. "Nothing" ran contrary to religious theory. The Indo European notion started to sunya, or shunyat in Sanskrit, which extended to the North African number workers as sifr, in Arabic. Later this was adopted by the Italians, who were familiar with Arab calculations, as zefiro, or zero- considered as a possible model by the medieval scholars...for nothing. Now this ancient lineage is interpreted for our use as: cipher. (Algebra is Arabic for Al Jibr, the mathematician who introduced this form of number work).

Pardon the dissertation, but names are important. In the evolution of our own brandname, its numberless attempted sackings, moat crossings and longbow attacks, the near collapse of Western Civilization as we know it, the time has come for us to raise aloft a newer banner and to blare out a clearer and cleaner clarion call to carry out the evolving message of our firm. With our new movements on to increasingly unique arenas for communications, we are now, as of April 1st:

G I R V I N / S t r a t e g i c B r a n d i n g & D e s i g n.

New disciplined stationeries and collateral are in readiness under the watchful eye of Mr. Pannone, among others, signage is being considered, a dramatic new video produced with the wizardry of Terri and TJ is unfolding, and the drama of a whole new collateral system is at the brink of completion. Teams lead by Rob O. and Ann B. have launched their firepower. Girvin.com is now officially ours. "What", you say..."how can this be?" Months of effort, research and planning have gone into determining the new simplification, the testing, the new descriptor, as well as the power of the brandcode that we now have in implementation. We are ready, and hope you are also, to celebrate this newest dimension for our organization.

Thanks for bearing through all of the set up to get into the heart of the matter. I have to get my scholarship rocks off somehow...

Best wishes.

(Originally sent: Friday, March 5, 1999)

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