Well, this was just a matter of time, and that time has most certainly come. CNN is reporting that the longtime antisense-DNA company ISIS Pharmaceuticals is indeed thinking about changing its name, and who can blame them? This reminds me of the situation in the 1980s, when there was a company that had for years marketed a weight-loss product. It was a (supposedly) filling candy that you were supposed to eat before meals, to help you eat less as an aid to dieting, and the product was, in fact, called “Ayds”. Same pronunciation. That kind of had to be rebranded, too, and to be honest, I don’t know if the product (or the company) survived the experience. Update: turns out that they didn’t. . .
So I have some sympathy for the company, since they didn’t ask for this sort of trouble. As for the organization that’s causing this rethink, I don’t have adequate words. It occurred to me on Friday (and not for the first time) that almost everything I spend my time doing would be considered valueless at best, and various levels of forbidden at worst, by these people. For all its complications, I much prefer the 21st century to the seventh.