March 21, 2016

What happens when you ask the internet to name a £200 million polar research vessel?

You get the name: Boaty McBoatface.

The name was suggested — putting the "jest" in suggestion — by a communications manager with a nice name of his own: James Hand. After that, the nefarious procedure known as voting worked its evil magic.

Actually, the Natural Environment Research Council was scientific enough to predict the ways of the internet and reserved the right to make the final decision...

But why not call the ship Boaty McBoatface?
 
pollcode.com free polls

37 comments:

Chuck said...

So this is like when you ask people if they'd like a President, named "Donald J. Trump."

rhhardin said...

HMS Redundant sounds move dignified.

Steve in Toronto said...

It could be worse the North West Territory in the Canadian Arctic was recently divided to create an new aboriginal majority Territory called Nunavut. A survey was conducted to rename the rump territory and the leading candidate (after retaining the original name) was "Bob" http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/northwest-territories-looking-for-new-name-bob-need-not-apply-1.319749

Clayton Hennesey said...

So this is like when you ask people if they'd like a President, named "Donald J. Trump."

No, this is how you find out that Donald J. Trump was caused by climate change, because clearly 2016 is the Donald J. Trumpest year ever recorded.

Fernandinande said...

"Name of Vessel" has a nice ring to it.

The "R.M.S. Tyrannic", from old NatLampoon.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Should something terrible happen, good luck trying to write a song called "The Wreck of the Boaty McBoatface."

Matt said...

It's a ship, not a boat. You can't trust the internet.

Birkel said...

I wanted to vote for more than one answer.
This poll was very limiting.

Fernandinande said...

Matt said...
It's a ship, not a boat. You can't trust the internet.


"Shippy McShipface" might be misunderstood.

Paddy O said...

It's a silly name, but I guarantee it would get more attention and be better for science education in the long run than a serious name honoring someone serious.

Lighten up, NERC.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There is a reason our founders decided not to create a straight-up democracy.

traditionalguy said...

A Scots ship. The McBoat Clan approves.

Hunter said...

Sure, they reserved the right not to use the winning name. But my question is, if you are aware that naming contests like this always result in tomfoolery, why even bother? You just end up annoying people and causing arguments by acting like the winning name will matter, when the overwhelming likelihood is that name will be something silly that you won't want to use.

Community had a plot along similar lines that was pretty funny, in which the school's new flag was to be designed and voted on by students. The winner ended up being the main characters' joke entry which resembled a circle around an asterisk and the motto "E Pluribus Anus" which from then on was a permanent fixture in the show.

Jeff Gee said...

Name your own goddamn boat and you don't have to deal with this.

Bob Ellison said...

They did the online poll for publicity.

The public threw the poll like a cream pie.

Live with it, dudes. It would show a smidgen of integrity.

Bob Ellison said...

The Scottsdale Community College Artichokes provide an example of a popularity poll gone amiss, but embraced thereafter.

Quasimodo said...

the name sounds like it was chosen by the writers for NCIS

tim in vermont said...

If there was a "Fucky McFuckyou" running...

Robt C said...

Bob Ellison--Ditto for the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

Bill Peschel said...

"serious name honoring someone serious."

Wouldn't mind that a bit Paddy McOFace, except that nowadays it's named after someone who bought the naming rights.

When you have a culture that honors money instead of accomplishments, you have a culture that's fueled only by money. Peschel's First Law.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought I remembered a story about a woman who let the internet vote on what to name her baby. A search turned up: "Baby-Naming Website Admits It Made Up Story About Woman Who Agreed to Let the Internet Name Her Baby."

EDH said...

The £200 million polar research vessel, which will be operational in 2019, is set to sail the waters of Antarctica and the Arctic carrying a team of 90 scientists and support staff.

How about naming it the: "RSS You Better Subscribe to Catastrophic Global Warming Theory or You Won't Step Foot on Board or Receive a Grant in Your Lifetime"?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bob Ellison said...

Live with it, dudes. It would show a smidgen of integrity.

You do realize that this is a climate science research vessel, right?

MisterBuddwing said...

Still recall how the state of Wisconsin, back in 1985, solicited suggestions for a license plate motto. Responses included "Eat Cheese or Die," "We Butter You Up" and "State of Udder Beauty." My personal favorite was: "Come and Freeze in the Land of Cheese."

Sigivald said...

I'd have called it either "Sinky" or the "Lawrence Oates".

("I am just going outside and may be some time.")

(Or, for pop references, the "R. J. MacReady" or "William Dyer".)

Paddy O said...

Bill, that's BP Paddy McOFace Brought to You by AT&T to you.

n.n said...

Everyone is a cynic.

Original Mike said...

I like it.

Original Mike said...

But the captain might not.

"Boaty McBoatface, arriving."

buwaya said...

The dignity of science be damned - the option missing here is that its a SHIP, whatever its function, which deserves some dignity. The crew, actually, as the body and spirit of the ship. These aren't scientists.

My name goes here. said...

They should pick McBoatface and make "Boaty" be the nickname.

"This is the RRS McBoatface..." I like it.

Michael in ArchDen said...

Original Mike, wouldn't the captain be known as "Boaty McBoatface Actual"

Rob McLean said...

Brilliant! It will instantly become the most popular ship on the ocean; the captain and crew will be feted as heroes. Charge tourists fifty bucks a head to tour the ship (includes a free "I Sailed on the RSS Boaty McBoatface!" T-shirt!) and put all of their missions live on the internet (call it "Boaty Brother")...

Fabi said...

RSS Data Destroyer

Geoff Matthews said...

Mountain Dew tried this. They had a new flavor, and solicited a vote from the internet. 4chan found out. When it was shut down, the top selection was "Hitler did nothing wrong". And there were worse options after that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/13/4chan-mountain-dew_n_1773076.html

wildswan said...

NEW RESEARCH FROM BOATY McBOATFACE

New research by Boaty McBoatface proves that global warming is due to human use of fossil fuels.

Yes I think the story would be read. But it would not be believed. It would be remembered as a Saturday morning cartoon - even if an NYT headline.
NEW RESEARCH FROM NYT's TIMMY McTIME SHOWS TRUMP IS HITLER RE-INCARNATED BY ALIENS.
HAS ONLY BEEN ON EARTH TWO YEARS.
IMAGINARY MEMORIES IMPLANTED BY SOCIAL MEDIA.

mark weishan said...

Hooray for Mr. Buwaya.