The Label Law is one of Jerry Weinberg's laws from The Secrets of Consulting
The name of the thing is not the thing.
...our tendency to attach a name - a label - to every new thing we see, and then to treat that thing as if the label were a true and total description...
Once the stereotyped label is attached, the problem becomes much harder to solve.
I was reminded of the Label Law recently when watching, you've guessed it, The Princess Bride (one of my favourite films) with my son Patrick. There's a scene where the Man in Black (aka Westley) explains to Buttercup how he has become the Dread Pirate Roberts:
The name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley.
The Label Law also reminds me of the apocryphal story of the man who, lacking any cheese, baited his mousetrap with a picture of some cheese, only to find the next day he had caught a picture of a mouse.
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