What’s in a Name? A Lot of Letters

by Matt DeLaere, Marketing

A couple of months ago we ran a blog post about fitting long names onto the backs of sports jerseys. A certain Boston catcher was mentioned as having the longest name in Major League Baseball history, at 14 characters. Fact is, though, a name like Saltalamacchia seems reasonable when compared with some of the names popping up in London.

The name of one Iranian weightlifter is taking the internet by storm. Saeid Mohammadpourkarkaragh might not be the most decorated athlete, but at 21 letters, his surname certainly is medal-worthy.  He’s not the only athlete with an incredibly long name, though.

For example, Bashir Asgari Babajanzadeh Darzi, another Iranian weightlifter, probably doesn’t see why Saeid’s name is such a fuss. Mikel Aguirrezabalaga Garcia, a member of the Spanish handball team, probably feels the same way.

Often overlooked is the plight of the announcers, who must tackle the names of Armenian wrestler Gadzhimurad Nurmagomedov, as well as Dutch swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo (I paid special attention to this one – it’s kro-mo-vee-joe-yo). But even more overlooked are the folks who must decorate uniforms, warm-ups, and other gear for these athletes.

Imagine trying to fit Belarussian athlete Elena Danilyuk-Nevmerzhytskaya’s  name on a gym bag. Or Madagascar’s Harinelina N Rakotondramanana on a weightlifting unitard. And that’s not even mentioning Beijing gold medalist Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon, who would need two (maybe three) jerseys to hold her entire name. It would surely take several applications to fit these names on a garment, or maybe even a row of heat presses. Any heat printer who could fit these names on the back of garment (or on a bag, cap, or other accesory) deserves a medal of their own.

Then factor in the task of figuring out what letters to order. The Kazakh team, just based on wrestler Dauren Zhumagzyyev and boxer Adilbek Niyazymbetov, would make a dent in any heat printer’s stock of consonants. This is where Stahls’ heat printing character calculator would come in handy. All the Kazakh’s decorator would have to do is input the athletes’ names and the calculator would display the exact number of Ys (4), Zs (3), and Vs (2). Of course, China’s decorator wouldn’t need it to figure out the letters in shooter Li Du’s name.

So, next time you get an order containing a name with 10, 12, or even 14 letters, just be glad that you’re not decorating for the Iranian or Kazakh teams. I just hope their decorator ordered plenty of spare letters in advance.

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