WINNIPEG, Manitoba—The Beaver, Canada’s second oldest continuously published magazine, is getting a new name. Starting with the April issue, the bimonthly magazine on Canada’s history will now be called...Canada’s History. The change after 90 years of publishing to the almost painfully prosaic new title is being made because of declining readership and also because internet filters are stopping emails and newsletters sent by…The Beaver.
While it may seem an overreaction that the word “beaver” has become a forbidden term on the filter circuit, one can never overestimate the fear that resides in some parents’ minds. Nevertheless, the damage has been done and the solution is in place.
Interestingly, the name came into conflict with changing demographics, as well. According to Editor-in-Chief Mark Reid, the sexual connotation associated with the word “beaver” has also turned off young potential readers.
"Market research showed us that younger Canadians and women were very, very unlikely to ever buy a magazine called The Beaver no matter what it's about," Reid told Reuters, adding he has mixed feelings about the name change. "For whatever reasons, they are turned off by the name."
Whether Canada’s History gets their attention or not is another question. The circulation of the Winnipeg-based magazine, which is published by Canada's National History Society, has traditionally ranged between 45,000 and 50,000, not that bad for a magazine that was founded in 1920 as a publication of the Hudson's Bay Company, and targeted the fur trade.
Over the years, said Reid, as the fur trade in Canada diminished, the magazine’s editorial focus shifted toward a general history of Canada, and the association between the fur trade and Canada’s early history was increasingly lost as the country’s immigrant population increased.
Reid adds that readers have been generally understanding about the change. Still, it is says something unfortunate about the times that the slang usage of a word should carry more weight than the colorful and appropriately named title that had served the magazine well for so many years. No matter what the kids say, The Beaver will probably be missed.
In the meantime, ScribeMedia has gathered together a list of double-entendre headlines perpetrated by copy editors around the world. Enjoy:
[ED. No one thought to mention 'fur trappers' in any of these but instead went directly to the beav? Very disappointing.]