1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 53 Articles

It's high season for X-of-the-year lists, especially words of the year. I'll leave it to my fellow language observers to decide whether volatility, occupy, squeezed middle, tergiversate, or some other word best sums up the year's prevailing mood. For my part, I'm focusing on a different corner of the linguaverse: brand names of the year.  Continue reading...
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In September, Domino's Pizza -- the second-largest pizza chain in the United States, with annual revenue approaching $1.5 billion -- introduced "Artisan Pizzas" to its 5,000 stores nationwide. Are you picturing skilled workers up to their elbows in whole-grain flour and locally sourced tomatoes, lovingly patting each pie into a charmingly irregular shape? Well, forget about it.  Continue reading...
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What's for dinner tonight? How about Cheez-It crackers topped with Cheez Whiz, followed by a salad of Imitation Krab and Vegetable Skallops sprinkled with Bac'n Bites? For your main course, we have a tempting selection of Chik'n Cutlets, Chick'n Scallopini, Turk'y, Stakelets, and Wyngz. And be sure to leave room for dessert: we're serving Kandy Kakes and Froots smoothies!  Continue reading...
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Earlier this week, we featured an excerpt from Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector. Here we continue Johnson's discussion of how "the crowded space of names might create a need for more complex ways to create names."  Continue reading...
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Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector, has a new book out called Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little about how contemporary message-makers need to become "verbal miniaturists." In this excerpt, Johnson explains how "neologisms can be among the most powerful of micromessages."  Continue reading...
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This is the story of two business names — both US trademarks, one for half a century and one for less than a year. Actually, it's the story of the word that's common to both trademarks. And to get directly to my point, it's about the way that one word has shifted in meaning over recent history — but only incompletely, so that both meanings coexist a little uncomfortably in semantic space, at least for me and many other speakers of American English.  Continue reading...
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What's not to like about a big, roomy vehicle that can carry the kids, the dog, the groceries, and a team's worth of soccer equipment? Plenty not to like, as it turns out — if you call that vehicle a minivan, a word that's become burdened by associations with boring family life in the suburbs.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 53 Articles