Moonshine is the process of renaming parts of our paper, calling to my mind the question of what’s in a name.

My friend’s wife renamed herself when she was 13 years old. In her opinion, her given name had never fit so she took matters into her own hands.

Years later, when they looked up the meaning of the new name, they discovered it fit her to a T.

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When Moonshine Ink first launched, we had a lot of fun creating unique names for the sections, headlines, and even the paper itself. The name Moonshine Ink is engaging all right, but we’ve fielded more than our fair share of inquiries about whether we do tattoos or write about libations.

Eight years ago, Moonshine was going through a major shift and I considered changing the paper’s name. I wanted to call a spade a spade and let our name tell people who we were. And couldn’t we use more “T” names in the local phone book? How about the Tahoe Truckee Journal or Truckee Tahoe Sentinel? Or represent the whole entire region — Tahoe Truckee Sierra Nevada Bulletin!

But a fellow businessman cautioned me that the Moonshine name was part of our brand and it would be un-business savvy to give that up. The name stuck, and today I’m glad. It’s memorable, rich, and cheeky. I feel like it fits.

However, some Moonshine names are being put to rest. This month marks the official name change of several of our sections. Over the years, people haven’t latched onto these creative monikers as well as they have bonded to Moonshine Ink.

Our arts and culture section has been called Rocking Stone since the beginning. Most people’s response: “I don’t get it.”

Our response, “You know…Truckee’s Rocking Stone… rock ‘n roll…rocking good times…”

Their response? “I still don’t get it.”

From here on out, it’s Arts & Culture. Plain and simple, and to the point. Other alterations: On the Spot News is now just News. The Spout is Opinion. Sports wRap is Sports & Outdoors. Creative Brew is now Your Canvas.

Even though I was there for the birth of the unique names, I am happy our sections now have direct identities. It’s clear and better defined, qualities that newspapers should strive toward. The new names will also help with consistency across our platforms, both online and in print.

The act of naming something is powerful. I happen to enjoy the process, but in the end, the important part is understanding the ‘something.’ As the physicist Richard Feynman said: “You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird … So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”

~ What’s in a name? Let us know at moonshineink.com.

Author

  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

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