Cultural References?

littlestar19

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Nov 19, 2002
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#1
Hi All,

It's been a long time since I've posted on here, but I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help with a question I have.

At my work, we are toying with naming a new system Octopus. We have offices in a number of countries, and do work in a number of others, so we're trying to find out if there are any negative implications of the word octopus.

We wouldn't want to use it only to find that it's a highly offensive term somewhere!

Personally, I doubt there is, but one must be thorough in these things!
 

Nancy

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#3
Jason is right to bring up the many-armed, grasping octopus as a negative image for businesses. However, that image was most used around the end of 19th-beginning of the 20th century.

And, some more recent films portray octopuses negatively (such as Octopus 2, which has a growling octopus).

But overall, the octopus seems to be a postive image. It's popular for kids toys, and I suppose you know of the octopus plug. Octopuses appear in positive ways in ads - recently, for air freshener.

I've never heard of the term "octopus" begin offensive, but if you're dealing with developing countries, you might check it out, as you'd have to with any name you'd use.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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#4
I would be concerned that in countries where octopus is a regular food item (most small countries where the primary food comes from the ocean), it would be like calling it a cow or pig (but may not relate to steak or pork, depending if the food item has a different name than the animal). I don't know that that is negative but it may not present the multitasking idea.
 

littlestar19

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#6
Thanks everyone. I'll be passing this on today, but we'd be going for a cute little mascot octopus, so hopefully it should be fine!

I did discover one interesting tidbit however, in French often pieuvre ‘an octopus’ is used to mean ‘a demanding mistress or kept
woman’!
 

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