My company Cygnet Communications Limited was first registered in Hong Kong back in 2003. On registering the new company, I had to choose a name for it -- but what to call it?
Being a Westerner, I didn't favour the Chinese style of naming companies with auspicious words -- like Rich & Fame Ltd, or Gold Abundance Investment Ltd, or Wealth Ahead Ltd, or Prosperity Creation Ltd (all of these are real existing or former companies registered in Hong Kong).
If I had had a more practical mind, perhaps I would have selected a company name that gave people some idea of what my business did -- for example, English Language Ltd (already taken).
Why then did I name my company Cygnet Communications Limited? Obviously the word 'communications' captures the idea of English communication, which is related to the services we offer. But Cygnet? -- it's an English word and means a young swan. Swans, in case you haven't seen one, are magnificent river birds found widely across Europe. The picture below shows a swan, but it also shows three cygnets -- young swans that have not yet reached maturity.
Signs like this one, reminding readers to 'beware of your belongings', are quite common in Hong Kong. Their purpose is to warn us of the risk of loss or theft, so that we pay more attention to the valuables that we are carrying with us.
In Hong Kong, 'beware' is often the generic term used to provide this warning. However, in standard English the word 'beware' has a much more specific meaning and usage. Here is the Oxford online dictionary definition:
About this blog
This blog arises from keeping an eye on English in Hong Kong. I often use signs, notices and advertisements that I see as starting points to write about English issues that commonly challenge Hong Kong writers.