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Irregular spellings are old news in brand names. Lately, though, I’ve noticed an interesting new spelling trend: the doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling of one particular letter—F—at the beginning of the name.

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The year is still young, but I’m prepared to go out on a limb and declare 2011 the Year of the Q-Name. From Quid to Quora, from Qajack to Qire, from Qrank to Qponomics, Q names are the queens and kings (qings?) of contemporary naming. Evidence? On CrunchBase, a directory of technology companies, I counted 405 Q names. And that was after eliminating companies that incorporate place names like Qatar and Qingdao.  Continue reading...
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On The Economist's Johnson blog, contributors are considering the question of why we "Google" and "Facebook," but we don't "PowerPoint" or "Excel." They've proposed some reasonable theories for brand-verbing.  Continue reading...
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Facebook wants to trademark the word "face." The social networker which connects more than 500 million users has already shown how we can all live together as one big happy set of FBF's by forcing other sites to drop "book" from their names, and now, in application no. 78980756 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Facebook is asserting its ownership of the word "face" as well.  Continue reading...
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When google, a verb meaning "to search the Internet," was chosen by the American Dialect Society as Word of the Decade (2000-09), my ADS colleague Grant Barrett wondered whether Google's trademark lawyers might have preferred it if the runner-up, blog, had won instead. It is of course a tribute to the vast popularity of Google that it has become accepted as a generic verb for online searching, but the protectors of the trademark wouldn't necessarily see it that way. Meanwhile, Microsoft, creators of the rival search engine Bing, would very much like people to use their brand name as a verb.  Continue reading...
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As far as I know, no university has a Department of Nomenclature. I've never heard of an internship in brand naming. So what's an aspiring name developer — or even an inquiring civilian — to do?  Continue reading...
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The passing of New York Times language columnist William Safire has been well noted here (by VT executive producer Ben Zimmer) and elsewhere. The death of Edward Gelsthorpe, who died September 12 and whose Times obituary appeared directly beneath Safire's on September 28, has been less commented on. Yet in his way Gelsthorpe had almost as powerful an influence on the world of words as did Safire.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 59 Articles