Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bank Didn't Need Another Name Change

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published February 02, 2005

To: Scott McLean, president, Southwest Bank of Texas

Dear Mr. McLean,

I’ve only lived in Baytown for four-and-a-half years, and I’ve already banked at Citizens Bank and Trust, Southwest Bank of Texas and, beginning March 7, I understand that I’ll be banking at Amegy Bank.

I’ve never changed banks. The bank keeps changing names.

The first name change resulted from a merger that ended the 80-year Baytown tradition of Citizens Bank. The most recent name change came about for several reasons, not the least of which is because someone in your company decided the bank’s name should reflect the company’s “dynamism.”

I had a few reactions when I learned about this. First, I had to look up “dynamism” in the dictionary to make sure it is an actual word. It sounds like an intestinal disorder. But Webster says it means “a theory that all phenomena can be explained as manifestations of force.” It’s also a “dynamic or expansionist quality.”

Next, I tried looking up “Amegy.” I didn’t find it. I did, however, find “amebic dysentery,” which, interestingly enough, is an intestinal disorder. Here’s what you had to say about the origins of the new bank name: “Amegy is a coined word that reflects the ‘energy’ of the people of ‘America.’”

I didn’t need to look up the word “coined.” I know it means “made up.”

I also understand that Amegy will be launching a series of high-energy (there’s that word again) radio and television commercials to help with the transition.

Since when did “energy” become such a crucial element in banking? I’ve never heard anyone say, “I switched banks because my old one just didn’t have enough energy.” The only energy I need, as far as my banking is concerned, is enough to get me out of bed and into the bank drive-through with my husband’s paycheck every Monday morning.

English is a fine language. Was there really no existing word suitable for your financial institution? Personally, I’m not looking for energy in a bank. You know what I like in a bank? I like the free popcorn on Fridays in the lobby. So why not “Free Popcorn Bank?” I’d also like a bank that doesn’t send back little pieces of paper at the drive-through trying to get me to sign up a friend for a checking account. Isn’t that your bank’s job? How about “The We-Won’t-Trash-Up-Your-Car-With-Little-Pieces-of-Paper Bank?”

If I seem a little cranky, the news of your bank’s name change came out the same day I read the results of a Swedish study on kissing. It seems that during a typical French kiss, more than 40,000 parasites and 250 types of bacteria are exchanged. I figure that in 11 years of marriage, my husband and I have exchanged close to 200 million parasites. I’m in a deep state of gross-out right now, and it’s made me a little testy.

The good news is that your bank’s new name has inspired me. I’d like to change my own name to reflect qualities for which I’d like to be known.

From now on, I’d like to be known as “Smute.”

“Smute” is a coined word that reflects how smart and cute I am. Please address all correspondence accordingly.



Baytown, Texas

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is


  • At Wed Feb 02, 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Mae said…

    LOVE IT!!! Soo funny ~ enjoyed the laugh from you Mrs. Smute. :)

  • At Wed Feb 02, 12:38:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    Be careful what you wish for...smute just may stick! And so funny! I wonder what the bank had to say. I may have to start reading the Bay Town Sun!

  • At Wed Feb 02, 01:52:00 PM, Blogger MDM said…

    Wow, someone looked at my blog!! Now I am scared are a great journalist...I am a novice at being read. My maiden name was Mandy Morue. I am now Mandy Davis married to Darren Davis. We have two precious girls and we live in AZ. I remember your name from acu publications.. I am having fun reading blogs from your links. Can I include your blog on my page? MDM

  • At Wed Feb 02, 04:19:00 PM, Blogger MDM said…

    Hi, it's MDM again. How do I put your blog on my page?? I cant figure this link stuff out..

  • At Wed Feb 02, 04:48:00 PM, Blogger MDM said…

    Sorry to be using and abusing you, but I just want to let you know my blog is gone..I messed it up, so I am starting a new one...I am not sure of the name or url, so find it through your abilene christian link again...I stink at this. Please come back though!!!

  • At Wed Feb 02, 06:01:00 PM, Blogger WinniePhew said…

    Hey you gave me an idea...
    The bank could put their name on one of those electronic marquees sort of like the Time and Temperature signs...Then, every morning, they could change their name by just typing on their marquee keyboard...Then people going to work could check the time, the temperature and the name of the bank.

    WinniePhew --

  • At Thu Feb 03, 05:30:00 AM, Blogger Smute said…

    Ha!... that is so funny I had to borrow the name.

  • At Thu Feb 03, 06:42:00 AM, Blogger Longhorn said…

    Wouldn't it be great if Mr. McLean read your letter, smacked his forehead and said, "This woman is right! Amegy Bank is SILLY! What where we thinking? Call the printer and the sign company! We're going back to Citizens Bank! Mrs. Gilcrest, get Mrs. Smute on the phone, I want to thank her personally! Someone fire up the popcorn machine!

  • At Thu Feb 03, 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Susie said…

    You really are quite a good writer! : )

    You don't by chance go to Cedar Bayou C of C, do you? Just wondering . . . my cousin is a member there. ; )

  • At Thu Feb 03, 05:25:00 PM, Blogger Fajita said…

    You are funny - no doubt about it.

    I do not think I have ever met you, but I have seen your name twice in the same day.

    1. ACU Today came to my house and apparently you wrote an article on my brother-in-law, Brandon Scoptt Thomas.

    2. You commented on my good friend's blog, Brain Mashburn (He needs to blog more. I think he's a little blogophobic).

    3. Weird thing #3. I write a column for the Sun as well. OK, it's the Jonesboro Sun, but anyway.

  • At Thu Feb 03, 05:53:00 PM, Blogger Forty_Two said…

    Banks are like the continents. After a few million years, they will all coalesce into one big super bank.

  • At Fri Feb 04, 06:24:00 AM, Blogger Clarissa said…

    Here's to the joyful exchange of parasites! More kissin', folks! Can I be intelleautiful?

  • At Mon Sep 01, 09:34:00 AM, Blogger Ethan Smith said…

    Here you can sell and buy both new and used products.
    This website is perfect for selling just about anything at all.
    More at free classified ads


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