The Art of Renaming
If people don’t like something, the solution is often as simple as a name change. Consider fish. Some of the most popular fish today are renamed versions of less desirable fish. Orange Roughy used to be called slimehead. Chilean sea bass used to be called toothfish. Monkfish used to be goosefish. The result of these name changes has been a dramatic increase in popularity, so much so that many renamed fish are now overfished and endangered.
The renaming trend is now spreading to academic courses. From the Boston Globe:
Boston College German studies professor Michael Resler went searching for a way to boost flagging interest in his “German Literature of the High Middle Ages’’ class a few years ago, and settled on the idea of simply giving the course a sexier name. The resulting “Knights, Castles, and Dragons’’ nearly tripled enrollment.
Resler then replaced his class on “The Songs of Walter von der Vogelweide,’’ a great German lyric poet, with “Passion, Politics, and Poetry in the Middle Ages.’’ Again, enrollment swelled.
“I suppose the moral of the story is that we live in an age where everything has to be marketed in order to find a willing audience,’’ Resler mused.
Maybe it’s time to rename law school classes:
Torts –> Crashes and Accidents
Criminal Law –> Murder Most Foul and Other Dastardly Crimes
Trusts & Estates –> Dead Hands: Power After Death
Corporate Law –> Gold and Parachutes
Property –> The Story of a Whale and a Fox
Hat tip: Inside Higher Ed