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Renaming The Beaver
January 12, 2010 11:16 AM   Subscribe

The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine Canada's second-oldest magazine, published since 1920, will be changing its name because in this age of electronic communications its emails keep getting removed by spam filters.
posted by GuyZero (37 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I suppose I should disclose that I have several copies of The Beaver sitting around the house and that my wife and I enjoy reading it together sometimes.
posted by GuyZero at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Deborah Morrison, president of Canada's National History Society and the longtime publisher of The Beaver, told Canwest News Service that the unfortunate double entendre has posed serious difficulties for several years as the magazine attempted to attract new, younger, Web-based customers to bolster its loyal but aging base of about 50,000 print subscribers.

"To be perfectly blunt about it, The Beaver was an impediment on the Internet," she said.


"Fortunately, we have laid that problem to rest with the rechristening, and we anticipate no problem in delivering digital content to Furry Bear's readership."
posted by gompa at 11:24 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


See also: Beaver College's relatively recent name change to Arcadia University. Beaver Country Day School, in Massachusetts, is standing firm against anti-beaver sentiment, though.
posted by killdevil at 11:24 AM on January 12, 2010


A shame that its hand is forced to do that but better than my original thought of it being cancelled when I saw its name linked here. It is one of the better Canadian magazines out there and one I pick up now and then at the magazine shop and more so borrow from the library. I've learned about quite a few interesting Canadians through it.
posted by beautifulcheese at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2010


cf. Scunthorpe Council emails.
posted by the cuban at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2010


When did the word beaver start being widely used for women's naughty bits?
posted by found missing at 11:28 AM on January 12, 2010


> A shame that its hand is forced to do that but better than my original thought of it being cancelled when I saw its name linked here.

These days, any time I see a post on MetaFilter that includes the words "magazine," "oldest" and/or "published since," my first assumption is that it's an obit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2010


"because of the flagship magazine's incidentally X-rated name."
- incidentally euphemistic, or risque, or ententre' ing yea... but X rated? Really?
posted by infinite intimation at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2010


When did the word beaver start being widely used for women's naughty bits?

It originated in 1927, apparently.
posted by zarq at 11:30 AM on January 12, 2010


Note that 1927 in England was 1969 in Canada, 1974 in Newfoundland.
posted by GuyZero at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Luckily Canada has many other national symbols to be proud of, so renaming it shouldn't be tough. I think they should emphasize their progressive health care system by going with "The Disc0unt V_1agra."
posted by eggplantplacebo at 11:33 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, what a bunch of pussies..

If Eastern Michigan University doesn't move it's campus because it sits next to this, these guys can live with the name Beaver...
posted by HuronBob at 11:38 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


If we change our behaviour because of the porn sites... doesnt' that mean the terrists win?

But, kinda potentially lol, because they are targeting a 'younger, hipper, more media savvy, cynical and younger' audience... and they are doing this by changing the title from the eponisterical and incidentally euphemistic The Beaver... to Canada's History... I don't see this achieving the target ideals.

But the publication has always been a great way to bone up on history, so if they think it will work, good on them, and hopefully we start teaching and learning more of the incredible lessons that reside, like gemstones covered barely by a thin layer of silt in the rivers of time, within our history, rather than ignoring it, till it repeats itself.
Keep up the great articles, and popularization of history, and the title might not even matter. I guess in he age of spam, tubes, and filters this really blows the idea that if the content is great the title is incidental, out of the water.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:48 AM on January 12, 2010


Gosh, Ward ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:57 AM on January 12, 2010


As David Lowenthal wrote, The past is a foreign country... essentially it takes a lot of study to make sure we don't gloss over an ignored important bit, or malign a misunderstood movement, the historian must be multi-lingual, speaking and listening in the nouns of power, and the verbs of history, geography, psychology, sociology, art, architecture, literature, and popular culture.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:59 AM on January 12, 2010


Wait until Beaver Lick, KY hears about this.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:08 PM on January 12, 2010


HAY GUYZ DID YOU KNOW THAT BEAVER, WASHINGTON, IS JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM SAPPHO, WASHINGTON? AND THEY'RE BOTH NEAR THE BANKS OF LAKE PLEASANT!
posted by mudpuppie at 12:11 PM on January 12, 2010


SPAM FILTER = harried Beaver.
posted by psylosyren at 12:28 PM on January 12, 2010


Maybe it's me, but "...and Jerry Mathers as The Canada's History" just doesn't work.
posted by tommasz at 12:36 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


HAY GUYZ DID YOU KNOW THAT BEAVER, WASHINGTON, IS JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM SAPPHO, WASHINGTON? AND THEY'RE BOTH NEAR THE BANKS OF LAKE PLEASANT!

I-75 exit 69 leads to, of course, Big Beaver Road
posted by axiom at 12:52 PM on January 12, 2010


But in modern times, the term "beaver" has become slang for women's genitals.

Thanks for clarifying that.
posted by jeffmik at 1:04 PM on January 12, 2010


Ha ha, great post. The Beaver is of course and excellent magazine. I think Castor would be an appropriate replacement name.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:33 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Driving down Big Beaver Road was one of the highlights of my geography field trip to Detroit, back in grade 11.
posted by Flashman at 1:41 PM on January 12, 2010


Obligatory
posted by BigLankyBastard at 1:44 PM on January 12, 2010


I think Castor would be an appropriate replacement name.

Such an obviously great idea!

It's too bad that the English magazine for Roman Catholics, Câlice, Tabernac never really took off.
posted by GuyZero at 1:57 PM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Excellent suggestion KokuRyu, especially given that the full species name is castor canadensis. This also brings to mind this excellent and absurdly named band.

Last time I was looking for a job I had a hard time getting my cv to several prospective employers because one of my references was named "Hooker". Frustrating. At least I think it was him. Could also have been that I was living on Ci4L1s StR33t at the time.
posted by GodricVT at 1:58 PM on January 12, 2010


Câlice, Tabernac

I worked in a restaurant (Pete's Underground, Whistler) with some waitresses from Quebec back in the early 90s. It was a cafeteria-style place - people ordered, and I cooked and called out their order numbers over a loudspeaker.

I used to scandalize the waitresses by periodically murmuring "Tabernac" over the PA. I don't think the tourists noticed.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:59 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha, this calls to mind the WTF change.
posted by look busy at 2:08 PM on January 12, 2010


Couldn't they just call their online site 'The Beever' or 'The Be@ver" or something like that, and get the same effect?
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:18 PM on January 12, 2010


Well, they did box themselves in. If they don't muff it this time and no twat comes to snatch the new name, this will have a happy ending.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:55 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Their offices are here in Winterpeg; a very small space for a national publication (don't make the obvious joke.) In a local interview the spokesperson said that it wasn't just the spam filters that were a problem; people just didn't like the name. Their research showed it as a major negative factor not just for new subscribers but for existing ones. And since they have other naming issues with some of their many services (kids' history programs, for example) it made sense to consolidate a name change of the mag and solve several problems.

The 'Beaver' name will live on in retrospective articles in the new Canada's History magazine. So not to worry; you'll still be able to make more naughty jokes than you can shake a stick at.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 3:10 PM on January 12, 2010


You know, it's only at this point several hours later that I remembered that the biggest lumber store in town when I grew up was Beaver Lumber.
posted by GuyZero at 3:39 PM on January 12, 2010


Maybe they should have just renamed beavers. I'd be thrilled to go trekking through the mighty forests of Canada, hoping for a peek at a family of Wide-Tailed Tree Nibblers.
posted by Sparx at 4:17 PM on January 12, 2010


This reminds me of the Boston residents who wanted to renumber their street address as they lived at 8 Beaver Street.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:15 PM on January 12, 2010


Speaking of spam filters, you gotta wonder if the employees of Pfizer cans send anything that doesn't end up in a spam filter.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:16 PM on January 12, 2010


I knew a girl in college who's nickname throughout her life (well, until a couple of year into college) was "Cooter," but didn't know that it had the same slang connotation as "beaver."

I'm not sure that the mistaken misnomer is the reason for the magazine doing poorly rather than magazines doing poorly in general. No-one really watches old episodes of "Leave It To Beaver" for titillation, at least in any significant number. Right?

Right?
posted by porpoise at 10:21 PM on January 12, 2010


One thing that puzzles me a great deal. "Leave it To Beaver" started in the 1950's. Who'd deny it was very family oriented? But what's up with this little kid knick-named "Beaver", so that his name becomes "Beaver Cleaver"? Or is it possible, the humor of calling a kid a name, that actually sounds like a nick for a skirt-chasing fratboy, was intentional?

As for the real thing, once in my life I happened to discover a beaver pond, with an active population. I've told very few people (and no one local to the place) where it is. They're in a place where they can do their thing without causing problems, and more likely go unnoticed.
posted by Goofyy at 4:28 AM on January 13, 2010


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