Let me explain how I came up with the name. To be fair, I didn’t come up with the name. Brian Keenan did.
In April of 1986 Brian Keenan was an unknown university teacher from Belfast until he was seized by Muslim gunmen in Beirut, Lebanon and became their hostage for nearly 5 years.
I met Brian in Henley in 1997 and wrote to him asking him to name the building I was constructing to work from. This is the letter he wrote in return:
“I thought a lot about this. So for what it is worth, here it is. I focussed on the notion of a language therapist being a kind of WORD smith – like a blacksmith! For some reason the wooden building and the work being done there made me think of a NUT. But the Nuthouse would be entirely inappropriate!!! My wife, who is a physiotherapist suggested “awakenings” as you awaken up the lost but residual capacity in people. I thought “The Wakenings” might be a good name for the place but it’s hardly a corporate term. – Awakenings or Wakenings might be more suitable. But still that didn’t suit my own “draw” on things. I went back to my original thought about blacksmiths, and foundries and workshops. I liked the term “Smithy” – a place where new forms are created. But I also liked the notion of a well, a permanent place of substance – we draw from the well, water, life perhaps meaning. I thought of something like “Holywell” being the well of nourishment and Holy, meaning to make whole. So it became “The Holywell Clinic”. Still I wasn’t sure and juggled again in my Blacksmith’s forge and finally came up with “WORDSWELL”. It has a plethora of associations for me too long for me to elaborate, but that’s what I resolved on. It may not be up your street but it seems to me to have a corporate and personal ring to it. It also “fixes” exactly what you do – I think!”
Thank you Brian.