Topic : Branding
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...
Behind the Dictionary
Lexicographers Talk About Language
September 9, 2010By Dennis Baron
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...
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
January 22, 2010By Ben Zimmer
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...
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...
Ad and marketing creatives
October 13, 2009By Nancy Friedman
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...
Have you heard? This economic slump we're in isn't just a recession: it's a mancession — a downturn that hurts men more than women. The term has been popularized by a University of Michigan economics and finance professor, Mark J. Perry, whose Carpe Diem blog employs lots of charts and graphs to drive home the point that male workers are taking it on the chin.That's bad news. But it turns out there's one sector men in which men are doing just dandy. I refer, of course, to the market in man-words and man-brands. Continue reading...
The minimalist billboard gets our attention: black capital letters against a stark white background. But the words spelled out by those letters are cryptic: SWORE RAY. Swore Ray? Ray swore? What did he say? And what do his profanities have to do with the advertiser, the Monte Carlo resort and casino in Las Vegas? Continue reading...
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