Sunday, September 03, 2006

Optician Project: Naming and Modified Naming

FreeFoto.comI'm an optician and I'm about to do a project: I'll leave my premises to put advertising leaflets on the windscreens of local cars. I have hired a temp to help me distribute the leaflets. We have fifty leaflets each to distribute.


With the naming and modified naming techniques I choose some information (from the information pool) and name many different examples of that thing (person, activity, object etc).

Naming Technique

The naming technique is simple. I choose some information from the information pool -- say, optician (the person) -- and create a naming directive:

Name an optician

Then I name as many different opticians as I choose:

Opticians in this town. London opticians. Trainee opticians. Retired opticians. Good opticians. Reputable opticians. etc.

Modified Naming Technique

With modified naming again I choose some information, but this time I set a naming directive:

Name X optician(s)

where X will be replaced by a word (or phrase etc) with a modifying function. For example:

Name a new optician(s)

This could suggest: opticians looking for premises for a business. Opticians that have just qualified. Opticians that have just opened a new shop. Opticians that use the latest technology. etc.

One syllable words as modifiers

At the start of the naming exercise I create a number of one syllable words. To do this I randomly choose a letter (or two letters) and create one syllable words using the letters as triggers. For example:

Be = beast, beat, best, bell, bear, bed etc.

Then I use any (or all) of these words as a modifier in my naming directive, thus:

Name best optician(s)

This could suggest: the best optician(s), highly rated opticians, opticians who were most successful in their studies, opticians who are successful with customers, opticians who show the highest profits. etc.

Using random words

I can use Edwards de Bono's random word technique to provide a word to be my modifier. For example: expectation completes the naming directive:

Name an expectation optician

Which could suggest: opticians who expect an increase in customers, opticians awaiting a delivery of stock, someone who is training to be (and expects to be) an optician etc.

Forming new concepts

Sometimes the information in the naming directive is worth using as a new concept in itself. For example, if my modifier is old my naming directive reads:

Name an old optician(s)

I can decide that "old optician" is worth forming into a concept: old-optician(s). This new concept can be used itself in a naming directive. With the modifier done my naming directive reads:

Name done old-opticians

Which could suggest: old opticians who are tired and ready to retire. Opticians who have retired. Old opticians who have introduced new innovations etc.

See also: Five sources of random words


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