Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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The consent of the lock

At this time of year, fields around Britain turn a brilliant shade of yellow, because they're filled with rape. And it irritates me deeply that I must exclaim, "Oh, look how beautiful the rape is!" I mean, really. Why do we persist in keeping the common name of this plant the same as a horrific crime? Yes, yes, I know its origin is Latin but I'm not asking to change its proper name (Brassica napus). Why haven't we re-christened it based on another of its characteristics?

It has been said many times that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Unfortunately, for blooming rape (See? SEE?!) the converse happens to be true as its smell is reminiscent of stale urine. Therefore, I don't recommend that rape be renamed based on its odour, unless we use a chemical obfuscation that happens to sound rather pretty, like Ammoniatum.

It could be renamed based on its colour. Shades of yellow have been spoken for by many other plants: flaxen, straw and saffron. None of these have the vivid hue of rape (!). Canary yellow is the only one that comes close. While "canary" would certainly be more pleasant than "rape", very little isn't, other than "murder" or "genocide". It is also potentially confusing to rename a plant after a bird.

I propose, therefore, that we should invert it, and call it "consent". Can you imagine how much nicer that would be? "The consent is in full bloom." "I photographed the most glorious consent yesterday." "Consent is a heavy nectar producer, and honeybees produce a light-coloured but peppery honey from it." "Consent smells of stale urine." Okay, maybe that last one isn't the best example, but you see what I'm saying, I hope.

Poll #1560688 Sometimes the name is everything.

We should henceforth refer to the plant known as rape as:

Tags: poll
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