The work of the Office of Nomenclature Stabilization can be said to have started in the period 1949-1951, although its full organization in its present’ form—the voluminous files, the worldwide network of correspondents-only came later.

   In one of those years John Train, then studying for a Master’s degree at Harvard in Comparative Literature, noticed in Collier’s magazine a Mr.Katz Meow, of Hoquiam, Washington. He mentioned it shortly afterward to Professor Howard Mumford Jones, who replied that during World War II he’d had a secretary named Miss Pensive Cocke. Soon after, Train reported this to a graduate school colleague who observed that while in uniform he had processed the Army discharge of a soldier named Welcome Baby Darling (now of Greenwich, Connecticut). Train, bemused, wrote all this down in the back of his notebook.