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In the past, I’ve written about my distrust of flowery, ostentatious names, as well as any name that attempts to make something sound more cosmopolitan or international than it actually is.
Previous targets have included Chilean sea bass (Patagonian tooth fish), haricot verts (green beans), sweet meats (organs), field greens and crudités (uncooked vegetables).

I also do not approve of naming choices that make foods sound less palatable than they really are. Examples of this include pulled pork, head cheese and spotted dick (a pudding popular in the UK).

Names are important. They should be accurate, descriptive, opaque, and appealing whenever possible.

Into the pantheon of naming missteps I would like to invite the pap smear.

I realize that the pap smear is considerably less optional than pulled pork or head cheese and therefore less in need of a consumer-friendly name.

I also realize that the name is technically more accurate and descriptive than Chilean sea bass and sweet meats.

Still, it’s a bad name.

It’s an awful name.

There must be something better. Something still descriptive in process but slightly more appealing than pap smear.

It would seem to me that almost any combination of words would be better than pap smear.


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