Lancia has recently produced a new car - the Dedra. How do you pronounce "Dedra"? "However you like," said a local garage. "Dead-rah or deed-rah."
"It's Dead-rah," said a Lancia spokesman. "It's a made-up name designed to conjure up thoughts of geometrical shapes and follows on from our cars which used to have names like Greek letters - Gamma, De1ta."
I asked if a car that sounded like "dead" might not deter people from buying it, for fear of being dead in a car accident. "I don't think so," replied the spokesman. "In Italian it probably sounds completely different - like day-drah." It reminds me of the Volvo 440. In Hong Kong the number 4 is considered by many Chinese to be unlucky. Two fours is very bad luck. Volvo did not sell many 440s in Hong Kong.