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what's in a name? March 3, 2009

Posted by Bradley in : Uncategorized , trackback

Whereas the SEC has Edgar (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system), the FSA now has Gabriel (GAthering Better Regulatory Information Electronically).

Behind the Name says that Edgar is:

Derived from the Old English elements ead “rich, blessed” and gar “spear”. This was the name of a 10th-century English king who is regarded as a saint. The name did not survive long after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 18th century, in part due to a character by this name in Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Bride of Lammermoor’ (1819).

Gabriel is:

From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri’el) meaning “strong man of God”. Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition. He appears in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, where he serves as the announcer of the births of John to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad.

I imagine the religious connotations were more obvious to those at the FSA who chose their name than was the case for the SEC. But just because the SEC chose a boy’s name for its data gathering system surely doesn’t mean that they are supposed to be named after boys? And does naming your system after an Archangel suggest it is in some way better than the SEC’s system?


1. John Flood - March 6, 2009

Can one draw an analogy with the naming of hurricanes? Can we expect both female and male names? Of course they could go for androgeny: Leslie, Robin, Frankie….