BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- What's in a name? When companies pick a stock ticker, a lot may be riding on that symbol.The prime real estate of stock tickers belongs to the one-letter IDs of top companies -- ( T) for AT&T, ( C) for Citigroup and the like. Then there are companies whose tickers either help pronounce the company name or trigger instant recognition -- ( MSFT) for Microsoft, ( GOOG) for Google and ( YHOO) for Yahoo. Others come close, but for whatever reason don't go with the obvious. Hence ( AAPL) for Apple, instead of APPL or APPLE. Sometimes a company will even change its formal name to better match the trading ticker. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. was quite a mouthful, until, taking a cue from its MMM exchange name, it renamed itself as the much catchier 3M ( MMM). Then there are the corporate punsters and clever fund managers who have some fun with the name game. Mattress maker Sealy chose that old comic strip trope for a snoring character when it picked ( ZZ) for its trading symbol. Magma Design Automation played off its name with ( LAVA). Internet America, an ISP, broke out the pocket protectors when deciding to brand itself with ( GEEK). Dynamic Materials went ( BOOM), a reference to its "explosive metalworking" segment. Natus Medical, which specializes in pediatric and newborn healthcare products, went with ( BABY). Auctioneer Sotheby's chose the apropos ( BID). Harris & Harris Group is ( TINY), a name meant to remind you that that the venture capital firm specializes in nanotechnology. Piano maker Steinway chose ( LVB) in honor of Ludwig van Beethoven. A few others of note: the specialty of Advanced Medical Optics is summed up with ( EYE); online game company Shanta scored with ( GAME); Footwear company Steve Madden tied up ( SHOO); amusement park owner Cedar Fair has ( FUN) and Olympic Steel dug into mythology with ( ZEUS).