Steve Sailer makes an interesting point with respect to the Mumbai name change that hadn’t occurred to me:
All these people are missing the essential point: Name-changing increases ignorance. People lose the thread. The libraries are full of books referring to Bombay, not to Mumbai.
Most people in America had heard of Bombay and knew it was in India. Until this terrorist attack, most Americans had never heard of Mumbai and had no idea that it was in India or that it was the large, famous city they had once heard of as Bombay, where all the Bollywood movies are made.
I might be tempted to say that it would be difficult to increase the average person’s ignorance of India, but that’s not the point. Offhand, I would say that if you knew that Bollywood movies were made in Bombay, you were already way ahead of the crowd, which didn’t know that Bollywood movies existed. So I’m not sure that these people would be terribly confused by the new name. That being said, I have objected in the past to the new ecumenical name miaphysite being applied to non-Chalcedonian Christians. The Copts want to use this name, and I don’t think it matters one way or the other. For starters, it is not meaningfully distinct from the existing, albeit pejorative, label monophysite, and it is just one more term that people have to learn about Christological differences where terminology is already confusing enough for most people. Most relevant books refer to these Christians as monophysites or by some other antiquated label (e.g., Jacobite), so relabeling all of them miaphysites to make a point is rather silly and bound to create more, rather than less, obscurity. It is likely to increase confusion, if not ignorance, and thus make it harder for people to understand the Christological controversies. Even so, the change to Mumbai is not that hard to adjust to, so I don’t quite understand why there is so much resistance.