September 19, 2016

Poor old Helphire! Or should we say poor old Auxillis, because that’s how the formerly-troubled-but-now-absolutely-fine accident management giant wishes to be known in future.

Why poor, you may wonder, when the firm has been freshly graced with such a spiffing new handle? Well, ‘poor’ because Hellphire/Auxillis seem to be having the devil’s own job trying to get the press to report its name change accurately.

Nor, sadly are these problems anything new. Back in 2014 after Helfire bought New Lad Group, it changed the parent company’s name to Redde plc (pronounced, Bankstone News understands, like when, back in the day, former Yes frontman Jon Anderson, clad in the team shirt of his beloved Newcastle United, used to shout each week: “Contenders, Redde! Gladiators Redde!)”

At the time, numerous publications erroneously reported that the name was derived from the Latin word Redde which, they claimed vaguely, was “associated, in Latin, with the concept of restoration.” This wishy-washy assertion scarcely did justice to the audacious wit of the name chosen for the rebranded plc.

In reality, the Latin word Redde, the present imperative of Reddere, meaning to give back or to pay back, should be translated as the brusque injunction: “Hand it over!”

It’s obviously a joke. And a good one at that. But the press completely missed the point. And now the same brute incomprehension seems to have returned to dog Hellfire’s best attempts at classically-inspired name change.

The name Auxillis, the press would have us believe, “derives from the Latin word ‘Auxillium’ meaning to help, aid and remedy.” Utter nonsense. How could it derive from a word that doesn’t exist! The Latin word is Auxilium, with one l.

As for meaning “to help, aid and remedy” (which sounds worryingly like the slogan for some kind of dietary supplement or laxative): Auxilium is a noun, not a verb, and generally indicates something like support, assistance or back-up, often of a military nature, as in auxiliary forces.

The closest equivalent to the neologism Auxillis is the Latin Auxiliis, the ablative plural form of the noun, meaning by, with or from assistances [sic]. But of course it doesn’t really matter what, if anything, Redde, Auxillis or any other Latinate brand names mean; the important thing is that they convey gravitas, nobility and pedigree.

Auxillis (pronounced ork-sillies) just sounds better than Helpfire, in the same way that Consignia just sounds better than Post Office. Why they dropped that name, Bankstone News will never know! Sounded like a winner to us.

Anyway, good luck with the new name Auxillis, we say here at Bankstone News. Maybe one day the world will catch up with the subtle genius of your branding strategy!

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