Sunday, June 18, 2017

Menē Inc. weighed in the balance?

ARAMAIC WATCH: (Digital Journal).
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 15, 2017) - Goldmoney Inc. (TSX:XAU) ("Goldmoney"), a precious metal financial service and technology company, today announced its investment in Menē Inc. ("Menē"), a newly formed direct-to-consumer fine jewelry venture. Menē will manufacture and retail timeless 24 karat gold jewelry online through an innovative first-to-market user experience and transparent pricing model.

Naturally the Aramaic word caught my eye. The press release goes on to explain the name:
Menē - The Name

Menē ("meh-ney") is an ancient Aramaic word with a deep meaning that links jewelry, gold, money, and savings. A "Menē", reflecting 567 grams of pure gold, is the first written word for "money" as codified in the Code of Hammurabi approximately 4,000 years ago. For much of written history, humans exchanged value by pricing goods and services in units of "menē", which provided a predefined measurement of gold. Those units were often ultimately settled as pure 24 karat jewelry that could be readily exchanged. This ancient tradition, though often misunderstood by economists, is alive and well in the East where pure gold jewelry powers a savings economy in which jewelry is bought, sold, exchanged, and borrowed against as an asset that maintains its purchasing power.
Yes it is an old word for a unit of weight and the information about the Code of Hammurapi is interesting. But to modern people the word is best know from the biblical phrase "Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin" in the story of the writing on the wall in Daniel 5. It was the text of the writing and its (somewhat esoteric) interpretation was "You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting." The "you" was the kingdom of Babylon, which fell to the Persians that night. (See here especially, but also here and here.)

Now Menē Inc. sounds like a nice company and I wish them well. But I wonder if they fully thought through the implications of their name. Given what even minimally biblically literate people will hear in their heads when they encounter it, it is not what I would have chosen for my brand.

But that's just me. I hope I'm wrong and that Menē is successful.

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