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Where do successful company and product names come from? Some are created in a flash of insight, others after months of painstaking research. And some are the result of human error. Here are the stories behind eight brands — some of them well known, some a little obscure, each interesting in its own way.  Continue reading...
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It's one of the enduring cross-cultural culinary conundrums: Why are packaged potato snacks called chips in the US and crisps in the UK? The answer is equal parts history, legend, and marketing savvy. And the spudscape is getting more complicated as cultural boundaries dissolve and the snack-food industry grows more creative and prolific.  Continue reading...
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Imagine you're naming a new brand — an alcoholic beverage, say. You know the standard marketing dogma: a brand name should promise romance, adventure, well-being, financial success, sex appeal. What are the odds that you'd ignore that advice and instead choose a name that says … death?  Continue reading...
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The bikini made its first public appearance on July 5, 1946, at a swimming pool in Paris. In the 66 years since then, the diminutive swimming costume has had an outsize impact on fashion trends and cultural norms. It’s also enriched our vocabulary in creative and unexpected ways.  Continue reading...
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Last week, in the first part of this series on buzzwords and catchphrases of the current political season, I looked at six words that caught the national attention, from brokered convention to grandiosity. Here, in alphabetical order, are another half dozen more that have crossed my political radar.  Continue reading...
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The U.S. presidential election is six months away, but the Republican debates and primary contests have already gone on for more than a year. The long campaign has meant plenty of exposure to that special genre of language known as political speech.  Continue reading...
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I consider myself a reasonably fluent speaker of Fashionspeak, a dialect distinguished by peculiar adjectives ("statement" necklace, "boyfriend" jacket), enigmatic abbreviations (boho, bodycon, cami), and a bullying use of the imperative mood ("must-have," "dos and don'ts"). Nevertheless, I sometimes find myself staring in puzzlement at a fashion headline, trying to decode an unlikely usage of a word I thought I knew. This season, that word is "tribal."  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 93 Articles