When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.
Ancient civilizations knew that to name something was to have power over it. This was more than a simple claim to possession. Some believed so strongly in the power of names that they would never give their own names to strangers, for fear the strangers might use it to inflict harm against them.
Names mean an awful lot. You may not live in fear of them, but don't underestimate the power of a name. A name describes:
Names are fundamental to our concept of identity. There are examples throughout history—even before 2000 Bc, there are ...