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ISIS Condo Project, Others Rethink Their Names

This image is from the Facebook page of the now-renamed 3 Thirty Three Downtown. The project in West Palm Beach, Fla., was previously called ISIS Downtown.
3 Thirty Three Downtown/Facebook
This image is from the Facebook page of the now-renamed 3 Thirty Three Downtown. The project in West Palm Beach, Fla., was previously called ISIS Downtown.

It's not a good time to be called ISIS. A Florida condo project, a line of adult lingerie in the U.K. and others with similar names are rethinking their names.

ISIS Downtown, a development in West Palm Beach, Fla., is changing its name to 3 Thirty Three Downtown. No reason was given, but the change was noted on the project's Facebook page, which now has an updated image with the new name.

Tim Harris, past president of the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches, tells The Palm Beach Post that the old name is "scarily negative."

"There are so many unknowns when you're doing a building, so many things can change. ... It's good planning to cut and run with the name change now because it doesn't sound like (the fight with ISIS) is going to get resolved anytime soon," Harris told the Post.

ISIS — the group that has been in the headlines, that is — refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It's also sometimes called ISIL, for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group now calls itself the Islamic State.

Last week, the Islamic State released a video in which it beheaded James Foley, the American journalist who had been missing for more than a year.

Earlier this week, the U.K. adult retailer Ann Summer apologized for its new line of lingerie named Isis, for the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility. A spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that the timing of the launch was "unfortunate," but that "we in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence."

The company said it did not plan to pull the Isis line from its stores.

But a mobile-payment system called Isis went the opposite route.

"However coincidental, we have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering," CEO Michael Abbott wrote in a blog post on his company's website. "As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand."

Others named ISIS include a Fordham University feminist group (whose name stands for In Strength I Stand), a pharmaceutical company that trades on the Nasdaq, and a onetime metal band that says some fans don't want to wear its T-shirts.

None plans to change its name, though ABC News points out that the name on the rock group's Facebook page went from "ISIS" to "Isis the band."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.