“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
When Shakespeare wrote that line, he was talking about the nature of the object/subject being more important than what we call it.
As I’ve been talking about in my past two posts, I agree that the nature of is more important than its name. However, the name given to something can cause people to have wrong ideas about it. The Prosperity Gospel (PG) is thought about as talking about God wanting people to be prosperous. Again, in this post, I am saying that’s a misdirection. It is talking about being generous.
The title “Prosperity Gospel” directs people in a wrong direction by giving them ideas about something it is not about. I suggest that we give it a different name to start pointing people in the right direction.
The Simpsons asked a good question when a character quoted the Shakespeare line, “What’s in a name?” Bart suggested calling roses, “Stink Blossoms”. The idea of calling a nice flower “stink blossoms” is a big turn off, no matter what the flower is really like. So we need to clearly label things as they are. As a web writer, I cannot misdirect people labelling links with the wrong name. That just wrong as it confuses people.
The same thing has happened to the PG. We have the name “Prosperity” in it, and people start talking about how God wants us to be rich. We can’t run away from the name. As I have shown, I believe it is about about generosity. I suggest that we rename the PG as the “Generosity Gospel”. That starts people off on the correct foot. We can see that in its title, and we are both on the correct foot.
As writers, we need to understand the topic before we give it a proper name. We can title a book “Trek through space” if we want to, but have it tell a story about a Russian family in history near the start of the Soviet Union. You can do that if you want to, but that would be deceptive. There is nothing to what we know as “space”.
One would have to put in a lot of creative thought to the story. “Trek through space” would be picked up by many Trekkies and sci-fi buffs. But once they look at the blurb at the back, they would drop it like a ton of rocks. Would history buffs even pick it up? Very unlikely.
So my tip for you this week is this. Give your writing an appropriate name. That’s how you get people to read your material.