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Whats in a name?

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Ive heard it all now. Apparently a number of families in France have been taking legal action to try to stop car manufacturer Renault from naming its latest model the Zoe.

The families, whose surnames are also Renault, have daughters named Zoe and they fear that their children will be subject to ridicule if they share their name with a car.

The parents lawyer has suggested that, as the girls grow up, they could be subject to inappropriate comments such as can I see your airbags? and can I shine your bumpers?

The judge threw the case out, so expect to see the electrically-powered Renault Zoe on the streets near you some time in the future.

It got me thinking about names though, both human and automotive. There are some pretty weird car names about at the moment for example the Kia Ceed and even the Ford Ka took a bit of getting used to. There have been worse how about the Daihatsu Naked (yes honestly) or the Chevrolet Nova, which in Spanish means it doesnt go.... And of course these days, everythings got an i appended to it, like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

But parents really have no right to complain about car manufacturers causing embarrassment to their children when you see some of the names which are imposed upon the poor kids anyway.

I used to know a teacher who had a Charles Dickens in her class and, yes, he did write very good essays apparently. She had also come across a Justin Thyme and there are many more, far worse examples as well.

But back to the all-electric Renault Zoe ZE (Zero Emission) which will be launched in 2012. The name Zoe apparently means life in Greek and was chosen to emphasise the cars green credentials. Renault have used womens names for their cars before Clio and Megane but have not faced any opposition so its hard to see what the problem is now.

Rather than help the childrens cause, I rather think that the parents have drawn attention to it and that anyone called Zoe Renault will now probably suffer more as a result. Sometimes its better to keep your mouth shut.