Easter, which this year falls on April 20, is an important religious holiday for millions of Christians. It's also a major candy holiday, now second only to Halloween in the United States. But there's more to Easter candy than sugar and food dye: there's also some fascinating linguistic and brand history.  Continue reading...
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In February, Nokia announced a new hybrid device called Nokia X. No, the name is not a generic placeholder until something catchier comes along. It's the official name of the phone. Mysterious and austere, simple yet highly symbolic, the name is representative of a dominant branding trend of our era. In nearly every category of commerce, X marks the spot.  Continue reading...
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During Hollywood movie-awards season — which culminates this year on March 2 with the Academy Awards show — honors are handed out for acting, editing, visual effects, music, makeup, and costumes. One category, however, has never had a chance to shine: the often creative, sometimes wacky names of film production companies.  Continue reading...
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How to choose the most important brand names of a year? Some lists emphasize companies' value, others sales volume, and still others ad spending. I look for brands that are newly prominent or notable in the last year. Then I factor in the brand names' linguistic significance and the degree to which they represent naming trends or breakthroughs.  Continue reading...
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Next month marks the 44th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, and we're still hearing its echoes. One of Woodstock's most enduring legacies is its influence on language. Wherever there's an "X-stock" festival, from Artstock in Oregon to Zoostock in Pennsylvania, from Rootstock in Santa Rosa, California, to Bloodstock in Derbyshire, UK, Woodstock lives on.  Continue reading...
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Branding expert Nancy Friedman has been seeing a lot of X's and O's lately, "in the breezy, cozy, kissy-huggy names of companies and products." And she says that "Valentine's Day seems the perfect occasion to cuddle up with them."  Continue reading...
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Everyone's been a name developer at least once. But I'm guessing you haven't named many things with which you had no personal connection. Year after year. For money.  Continue reading...
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