what’s in a name: inspire

We’ve said it before: Names are important. Today we’re going to talk about a thing called “Inspire,” but first, we’d like you to guess what you think it is. Go ahead. Take your time.

Hmm: “Inspire.” Could it be a chocolate-flavored calcium supplement? A wall calendar with pictures of mountains on it? Maybe a new brand of adult diapers? Good guesses, all, but wrong! It’s actually the name of al Qaeda’s not-so-secret secret newsletter.

That’s right: the people who brought you the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — not to mention countless bombings and kidnappings and general violent mayhem throughout the Middle East — produce a newsletter called Inspire. Not Holy Warriors, The Suicide Vest, or Death to the Infidels MonthlyInspire.

They don’t use the newsletter to recruit new members. They’re just talking to each other about themselves.

This is important: People never think of themselves as the bad guys or the “extremists” (yikes, we’ll address that word some other time) — even if they are murdering people or encouraging others to do so. Even then they talk about “inspiration” as if it’s a specialty of theirs. We should all think about that every chance we get.