THOSE smart Hong Kong business people in the property industry wouldn't throw away money, would they? The answer is: yes, they do it all the time. They suffer incalculable losses by inflicting incredibly crass names on their property developments. Who would want to live in Greenish Court, a Discovery Bay tower which conjures up images of unhealthy complexions? An understated banking friend had to overcome huge embarrassment before he could force himself to sign a lease for a flat in MacDonnell Road named Wealthy Heights. Corruption-swoopers at the ICAC are groaning, having found they have to move from one building with 'car park' in its name to another. Similarly unglamorous is the Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building in Kowloon, where you'll find the office of Anna Hoffman and her colleagues at the International Organisation for Migration. This building has a major highway running right through the middle of it. The road enters the building at a level equivalent to four or five storeys above ground. It is interesting that another resident of the block is the Traffic Control and Surveillance Division. I can only assume they have a hole drilled in their office floor for the purpose. An ex-resident of the building is the Environmental Protection Department, which is interesting, considering Yau Ma Tei has some of the worst pollution, and specifically radon, levels in the territory. Does the department know something their former neighbours do not? Very likely. Why do Hong Kong places have such awful names? Business people here are good at throwing up buildings, but much less talented at the poetic reflection and linguistic skills necessary to come up with a name that sounds right. So, instead, buildings get labels. There used to be a commercial building on Hong Kong Island called Commercial Building. There still is a place called Witty Commercial Building in Yau Ma Tei, and Cheerful Commercial Building in Kowloon Bay. One supposes these are the 'intelligent buildings' one reads about. POSSIBLY the most idiotic office name in the whole of Hong Kong is the soulless construction in the King's Park area called Adjoining Building. What will they do if the place next door is ever pulled down? ON the east side of Tsim Sha Tsui, there is a tower called Prat Commercial Building. If the SAR Government wants to re-zone the various industries in Hong Kong, this may be a good place to put all the forex salesmen. THE Far Eastern Economic Review did a brief survey of ultra-boring building names in Hong Kong recently, and came out with the following: The main building at the Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam is called Main Building, and the new clinical wing is called New Clinical Wing. There is a building in Central called Central Building, near a tower called Central Tower. A Tin Hau skyscraper is called Sky Scraper. A hi-tech industrial centre in the New Territories is called Hi-Tech Industrial Centre. However, this tendency is not limited to Hong Kong. In the Philippines, Price Waterhouse can be found in a multi-storey building called Multi-Storey Building. INCIDENTALLY, if you are a fan of Roadrunner or Bugs Bunny cartoons, you will be interested to know that there's a place in Hong Kong called Acme Building, in the Jordan area. Whenever a cartoon character buys anything, from a stick of dynamite to a grand piano, it always comes labelled 'Acme', which has been coined as an all-purpose bland commercial name for Toon Town. SOME office names in Hong Kong are so banal, they sound like they come from a book for tiny tots. All the names in the following paragraph really exist: 'One day, Peter Building said to Mary Building: 'Let's go and visit my friend David House.' But when they got there, they found that David House was being renovated so they went to see Alfred House instead.' Peter Building and Alfred House are in Central, Mary Building is in Tsim Sha Tsui and David House is in Jordan. READER Steve Davy found a shop in Hong Kong's Little Manila, aka the shopping centre in World-Wide House, Central, called Surplus Shop. And guess what? It was empty. STILL on the subject of shops, there's a florist in Hong Kong called A Florist. And yes, it is listed in the business telephone directory under 'A'. MY personal favourite is a reasonably good vegetarian restaurant I frequent in Stanley Street, Central, the name of which is Vegetarian Restaurant. This place is full of uniformed waitresses, each of whom bustles around with a name tag attached to her bosom. All the name tags are identical, and say: 'Waitress'. This usefully differentiates them from, say, 'Potted Plants'.