Originally published Jan 30, 2012
The Name Inspector was amused–and appalled–to read in the New York Times about a website called Noomii. It’s a directory to help you find a life coach or business coach, and yes, it’s supposed to evoke the phrase “new me”.
From one point of view, the name is appropriate. New you, new spelling!
But The Name Inspector would like to tell you about the other point of view. One of the main points of the NY Times article is that the coaching field is booming, and a bunch of newish university programs are cranking out coaches who are a bit…unseasoned. Like, hardly half the age of some of their clients.
Now, there’s much to be said for an infusion of youthful energy and enthusiasm to jumpstart a flagging career or personal life. But shouldn’t a coach also have some relevant experience to draw on? To paraphrase the headline for the NY Times article, shouldn’t a life coach have a life first?
That question must be on the minds of some potential coaching clients. Granted, proponents of coaching say that it’s not the same as mentoring. If you’re looking for an insider’s advice on your chosen field, look somewhere else. But still, you have to have some confidence in your coach as a knowledgeable human being, right? Does a 45-year-old with new professional ambitions really want to visit a site with a name that flouts conventional spelling with such whimsical abandon? Or, to put it more accurately, a site with a name that abandons conventionally conventional spelling to so fully embrace the contrived whimsy of a web startup struggling to find an available domain name?
Maybe the kooky spelling of Noomii represents all that is youthful and fresh. In fact, maybe barely post-adolescent coaches should text their clients inspiring messages like “UR 2 gr8 2 fail!” But The Name Inspector doesn’t think so. In this context, he’ll take a little grizzled experience and boring old-fashioned spelling any day.