What’s in a name: Where did you get “Palliverse” from?

I wonder how many people reading this have tried to come up with a catchy title for something.  Those random thoughts of: “If I was going to invent a breakfast cereal it would definitely be called… ” or our mental play around the name of a book that we would like to write where the pun will be just clever enough for us to get away with it; or our musing around a better name for a café that has all the potential (good coffee, the appropriate number of hipsters) but just not that vital title.

Hello my name is

We (I think it is good to start off any relationship with honesty) struggled to come to our name for Palliverse.  I think it was difficult for us for a number of reasons.  It was difficult because we were trying to express a complex idea with a few (or one) word; somewhere that palliative care clinicians, and researchers from our region could meet, communicate and share ideas. We all thought the site was a good idea, and we know that first impressions are important so how do you get it across?  Is it with a clever acronym? Have you ever tried to write a clever acronym?  Have you even noticed how many trials that think they have titled their multi-million dollar endeavour with a clever acronym have actually branded themselves with something amusingly lame.  In addition to that one can’t help but notice that no matter how many times you try acronyms containing ANZ they always sound a bit clunky (with the important exception of PRANZAC for any like me who can still remember the slightly falsely advertised glory of Palliative Registrars Australia and New Zealand Are Cool).

Another way to get your idea across through a name is by choosing a word as a name with a related meaning to your product or idea and adding definition to it.  It has worked well for Kindle, but the Golden Gaytime demonstrates that tastes and definitions do change.

We, following in the sure steps of fantastic sites like Geripal and Pallimed (check them out if you haven’t already) tried to create a name through combining words and ideas.  As many of us have heard palliative arose from Palliativus meaning to cloak or cover.  I have personally always wondered whether that also implies support.  That which we hide is that which we are protecting from harm and this idea fits neatly both in to both a sense of what palliative care is and how we mean it in Palliverse.  The meaning of “verse” is really up to the reader.  We chose it due to its link to converse due to our hope that the site will catalyse discussion and links between persons involved in palliative care.  Other meanings could arise from relating the “verse” it to other meanings such as universe, traverse and many more.  With enough time and at the expense of potentially boring everyone in ear-shot these can all be related to palliative care, and without you having to ask we are happy for you to assume that we considered all of these very clever things.

Importantly though we are not trying to imply that by coming up with the name of this site “Palliverse”, that we know what it will mean.  We hope that Palliverse will be something that we will all share, something that we all contribute to and help shape, and something then that we can all figure out the meaning of together.

Michael Chapman


For the Palliverse Editorial Team

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