Coining words and the caprice in names

Great little article about word coinage and naming by Steven Pinker in last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, How do we come up with words? Here is a morsel, about the viral nature of baby names and the human tendency to want to be different, but not too different:

Many people assume these fads are inspired by celebrities (Marilyn Monroe made Marilyn popular) or social trends (biblical names are popular during religious revivals; androgynous names are a legacy of feminism). But sociologist Stanley Lieberson has pored through naming data and disproved every one of these hypotheses. The cause of baby names is other baby names. Parents have an ear for names that are a bit distinctive (as if to follow Sam Goldwyn’s advice not to name your son William because every Tom, Dick and Harry is named William) without being too distinctive (only celebrities can get away with naming their children Moon Unit or Banjo). The trends arise when everyone tries to be moderately distinctive and ends up being moderately distinctive in the same way.

I love that advice from Sam Goldwyn. And that bit about everyone trying to be distinctive but ending up being “moderately distinctive in the same way” reminds me of the clusters of like names we see in nearly every industry. Take SUV names, for instance, where all the automakers tend to promote a “rugged individualist” theme, then serve up the same kind of names for their vehicles, often named to evoke either the idea of exploration — Blazer, Discovery, Expedition, Navigator, Safari, Scout, Tracker, Trooper — or of a mythic rugged western pioneer landscape — Montana, Rainier, Santa Fe, Sequoia, Sonoma, Tacoma, Tahoe, Yukon. So all of you rugged individualists out there looking express your distinctiveness through your choice of ride, these big beasts of cars are betraying that ideal by blending their names in with each other.

Also fascinating in this article is the idea that naming trends cannot be reliably predicted or engineered, because they are dependent upon the behavior of the masses, and that behavior is chaotic:

Pundits often treat a culture as if it were a superorganism that pursues goals and finds meaning, just like a person. But the fortunes of words, a cultural practice par excellence, don’t fit that model. Names change with the times, yet they don’t fulfill needs, don’t reflect other social trends and aren’t driven by role models or Madison Avenue. A “trend” is shorthand for the aggregate effects of millions of people making decisions while anticipating and reacting to the decisions made by others, and these dynamics can be stubbornly chaotic.

This unpredictability holds a lesson for our understanding of culture more generally. Like the words in a language, the practices in a culture — every fashion, ritual, common belief — must originate with an innovator, must then appeal to the innovator’s acquaintances and then to the acquaintance’s acquaintances, until it becomes endemic to a community. The caprice in names suggests we should be skeptical of most explanations for other mores and customs.

Yes. Beware of “expert” opinion that labors to convince you that “scientific” explanations — linguistics, focus groups, trend analysis — trumps good old fashioned meaning, story, history, mythology, poetry, rhythm, and shared knowledge when considering names for companies, products, or services. Anything else is just putting ketchup on a potato bug.

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Birth of a buzzword: Bacn

This item from today’s New York Times “What’s Online” column, Click if You Read This Column:

Saving Your Bacn Over the last week, a new Web 2.0 buzzword was born: “bacn.” Bacn is not spam; rather, it refers to messages — e-mail newsletters, Facebook friend requests, Twitter updates and the like — that are wanted but not needed. “Notifications you want. But not right now,” is the blogger Andy Quayle’s succinct definition (techburgh.com).

By most accounts, the term was coined — or at least gained traction — during last weekend’s PodCamp Pittsburgh event (podcamppittsburgh.com).

On his blog, Eric Skiff offers possible solutions, which amount to smart e-mail filtering and personal discipline. “Once or twice a day while I’m taking a ‘brain break’ I’ll flip through my labels and take care of any pending friend requests, comments, and any other bacn that’s come in during the day,” he writes (glitchnyc.com).

Already, a Web site, bacn2.com, has appeared to help “spread awareness” of bacn and to help people cope.

As bacn proliferates, it will likely become the new spam, making the whole idea of “bringing home the bacn” much less appealing.

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In God We Trust

On July 30, 1956, the President approved a joint resolution of Congress declaring In God We Trust the national motto of the United States. The words had been used on some American coins before that date but not on all currency, and not without objection. According to a Wikipedia article, Theodore Roosevelt strongly disapproved of the idea of evoking God within the context of a “cheap” political motto. In a letter to William Boldly on November 11, 1907, President Roosevelt wrote: “My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege … it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements.”

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The Band — No Use For A Name

NO USE FOR A NAME are a four-piece punk rock band from San Jose, CA, and have been the torchbearers of the skate-punk scene since Tony Sly and Rory Koff started the band in 1987. Anyway, they’ve got a greatest hits album coming out on the Fat Wreck Chords label in a couple of weeks, appropriately titled “All the Best Songs” which they will be promoting, no doubt, in an upcoming concert in their hometown at a club called — drumroll please — The Blank Club. “Keep Them Confused” is the name of the latest record by the band.

Other bands, that might have a use for a name, should check out Wordlab’s great legacy list of names for rock bands and albums, or tap into the fleshy membranes that lurk here on Worldab thinking up wild and wonderful band name maker.

And, when all is said and done, this just might be the greatest name for a band, ever.

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The Best Free Naming Website, Bar None

Wordlab got some good press the other day, in the Lifestyle section of the Hartford Courant. Here’s an excerpt that talks about the excellent ideas for names of bars and clubs generated by some of the creative minds that lurk in the Wordlab Forums.

Some club owners look for name advice online. The website www.wordlab.com offers a forum for entrepreneurs seeking monikers for everything from hot-dog carts to big-city nightclubs.

“I am opening a new club in Ohio, and I can’t come up with a catchy name. … It will be mostly Top 40 dance music with some older stuff thrown in, and of course requests! Can you help?” a seeker with the Web handle TamaraLynn wrote.

Responses included “Shut Up And Dance,” “Galaxy Club” and “Frequency.”

Sixtoemoe wanted a name for a club focused on soul music. Responses included “Soul Survivor,” “Bought and Souled,” “Souled Out” and “Soul Beneficiary.”

Posters on the site have to weed through some attempted humor. To a person seeking a name for a restaurant and bar in Portland, Maine’s art district, for example, a responder offered “Chez Snooty.” Another regular on the site has repeatedly offered “Alcohol & Archery” as a name for a variety of clubs and bars.

Some people do get solutions from the site. The owner of a small bar near a cemetery in Portland, Ore., was offered “The Dead End,” “Dead Zone,” “Plotz” and “Spirits,” among other names. The owner wrote back, “Thanks, we went with Spirits! Great idea.”

Several responders urged owners and managers seeking names to keep them simple. A poster with the web handle Intellishag sought suggestions for a martini bar that would play “chill-out and sexy music” for “sexy young people.”

A poster with the forum name, Elemental, responded, “Think ‘short and sweet,’ ” and suggested several signposts, including “Clean,” “Steel,” “Chrome,” “Velvet” and “Mink.”

Logos and illustrations paired with a name add another layer of style and statement. One of Connecticut’s best known music spots, Toad’s Place in New Haven, uses the image of the well-dressed Victorian Mr. Toad from “Wind in the Willows.”

Toad’s Place owner Brian Phelps says the name was derived from a restaurant “named after a toad or a frog that matched with the French restaurant theme” the original partners envisioned for the place in 1975. The Mr. Toad logo was added later, Phelps says.

Manning, the naming consultant, cites Toad’s Place as a name that stands out amid a crowd of bars and club names that sound like perfume labels.

“There are thousands and thousands of clubs that have edgy, in-your-face names like ‘Ecstasy’ and ‘Opium’ – something sexually suggestive,” he says. “You actually tend not to notice. That’s not pushing the envelope. Something like Toad’s is in the other direction. You actually remember it.”

Remember, Wordlab is the best free naming and branding site on the web, bar none, and we challenge anyone to do better for less.

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What Brand Means

“The link between brands and trust is strong,” says Charles Green, co-author of The Trusted Advisor, in the first Carnival of Trust at his blog, Trust Matters. There, Charlie points us to a recent post by Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who writes this about what brand means:

The saying goes, “a brand is a promise.” On a personal level, I’ve always felt that statement was incomplete. A promise is the lowest common denominator of a brand – it’s what people expect. Think of your favorite brand, whether search engine or sneaker or coffee shop or free software, and you’ll know what I mean – a brand is an expectation. If you experience anything less, you’re disappointed. A promise seems like table stakes.

But a brand must go beyond a promise. To me, a brand is a cause – a guiding light. For fulfilling expectations, certainly, as well as dealing with the ill-defined and unexpected.

Read more here at Jonathan’s Blog.

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From Milan to Microsoft Surface

There’s a fundamental change occurring in the world of technology. Code-named Milan, a new computer has surfaced at Microsoft. Surface.

“Pretty exciting, eh?” Gates said with a sly smile, when he put his hand down on what looked initially like a low, black coffee table: At the touch of his hand, the hard, plastic tabletop suddenly dissolved into what looked like tiny ripples of water. The ‘water’ responded to each of his fingers and the ripples rushed quickly away in every direction.

“Go ahead,” he said. “Try it.” When I placed my hand on the table at the same time, there were more ripples.

It took a moment to appreciate what was happening. Every hand motion Gates or I did was met with an immediate response from the table. There was no keyboard. There was no mouse. Just our gestures.

“All you have to do is reach out and touch the Surface,” Gates told me with barely concealed pride. “And it responds to what you do.”

In an industry whose bold pronouncements about the future have taught me the benefits of skepticism, Surface took my breath away. If the Surface project rollout goes as planned in November, it could alter the way everyday Americans control the technology that currently overwhelms many of us.

But does it come with Pong?

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Top Secret Military Operations Named

The New York Times has been accused of leaking top secret sources and methods in the GWOT.

It has long been suspected that the Pentagon taps into Wordlab to find good names for military operations. Some of the potential names for military ops may have been compromised when they were posted on the Internet here.

Others claim that names for military operations are developed by language machines, like the American Military Operation Name Generating Device or the Military Codename Generator.

The best names, however, like Operation Mountain Thrust, can only be conceived by the human mind, and are kept top secret until the operations are underway and it is safe to issue a press release.

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Coca-Cola Slogans, Taglines, and Jingles

Coca-Cola’s new slogan, “Welcome to the Coke Side of Life,” is an attempt to make the drink more relevant to customers. Mary Minnick, Coke’s head of marketing, says, “We believe there are times or a moment in the day when only a Coke will do, and that is the framework for our advertising.” Not the greatest Coca-Cola slogan of all time, is it?

1886—Drink Coca-Cola
1893—The Ideal Brain Tonic
1904—Delicious and Refreshing
1905—Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains
1906—The Drink of Quality
1907—Cooling….Refreshing…Delicious
1908—Good To The Last Drop
1909—Drink Delicious Coca-Cola
1917—Three Million A Day
1922—Thirst Knows No Season
1924—Pause and Refresh Yourself
1927—Around the Corner From Anywhere
1929—The Pause That Refreshes
1930—Meet Me At The Soda Fountain
1932—Ice Cold Sunshine
1934—When It’s Hard To Get Started, Start With Coca-Cola
1935—All Trails Lead To Coca-Cola
1936—It’s The Refreshing Thing To Do
1938—The Best Friend Thirst Ever Had
1939—Whoever You Are, Whatever You Do, Wherever You May Be, When You Think of Refreshment Think of Ice Cold Coca-Cola
1939—Thirst Stops Here; Makes Travel More Pleasant
1939—Coca-Cola Goes Along
1941—Work Refreshed
1943—A Taste All It’s Own
1944—High Sign of Friendship
1945—Coke Means Coca-Cola
1946—Yes
1947—Relax With The Pause That Refreshes
1948—Where There’s Coke There’s Hospitality
1948—It’s The Real Thing! (First time this slogan was used.)
1950—Time Out For Coke
1950—Help Yourself to Refreshment
1951—Good Food And Coca-Cola Just Naturally Go Together
1952—Coke Follows Thirst Everywhere
1952—What You Want Is A Coke
1954—For People On The Go
1955—Americans Prefer Taste”
1956—Coca-Cola – Makes Good Things Taste Better
1957—Sign Of Good Taste
1957—There’s Nothing Like A Coke
1958—The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke
1959—Be Really Refreshed
1962—Enjoy That Refreshing New Feeling
1963—Things Go Better With Coke
1970—It’s The Real Thing
1971—I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke
1975—Look Up America
1976—Coke Adds Life”
1979—Have a Coke and a Smile
1982—Coke Is It!
1985—We’ve Got A Taste For You
1986—Catch The Wave – Red White & You
1989—Can’t Beat The Feeling
1990—Can’t Beat The Real Thing
1993—Always Coca-Cola
1993—Taste It All
2000—Coca-Cola Enjoy
2001—Life Tastes Good
2002—All the world loves a Coke

“It’s the Real Thing” and “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” are two of the most memorable slogans that have helped to define the Coca-Cola brand.

“True Love and Apple Pie” was the title of the original version of the song released on the New Seekers album We’d Like To Teach The World To Sing after the commercial success of the advertising version, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing.” The song was made famous in 1971 by the outstanding Hilltop ad campaign for Coca-Cola in which children from around the world, dressed in ethnic costumes on a hilltop in Italy, sang:

I’d like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love,

Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves.

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,

I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.

The Hilltop ad campaign is regarded as one of the greatest television advertisements of all time, and is one of the highlights of the 50 Years of Coca-Cola’s Television Advertisements recorded by the Library of Congress.

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola reprised the “Hilltop” theme with a controversial ad campaign code-named “Chlltop” for the introduction of a new diet soda named Coca-Cola Zero. The introduction of the new slogan this week coincides with the announcement of a new Coca-Cola drink combining regular Coke and coffee, named Coca-Cola Blak.

There’s also a short chronicle of the first century in Coca-Cola’s creative history at allaboutbranding that’s a good overview. And, Snopes has lots of Cokelore, aptly described as “a collection of Coke trivia and tall tales sure to refresh even the most informationally-parched reader.”

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Meaning and origin of the Foo Fighters band name

Many of you techno geeks know all about “foo”, or think you do, when “used very generally as a sample name for absolutely anything, esp. programs and files (esp. scratch files)”, to quote the <a href=”http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/F/foo.html”>Jargon File</a>. But what about the Foo Fighters?

Dave Grohl, formally a drummer with the likes of Freak Baby, Mission Impossible, Fast, Dain Bramage, Scream and a little-known band called Nirvana, now fronts Foo Fighters. But what’s with the name?  The Jargon File entry continues:

<blockquote>
One place “foo” is known to have remained live is in the U.S. military during the WWII years. In 1944-45, the term ‘foo fighters’ was in use by radar operators for the kind of mysterious or spurious trace that would later be called a UFO (the older term resurfaced in popular American usage in 1995 via the name of one of the better grunge-rock bands). Because informants connected the term directly to the Smokey Stover strip, the folk etymology that connects it to French “feu” (fire) can be gently dismissed.
</blockquote>

For more on Foo and the Smokey Stover comic strip <a href=”http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/F/foo.html”>go here</a>. If this post has whet your curiosity and you’d like to know the origins and meanings behind other band names like Goo Goo Dolls and Pearl Jam, these are sticky questions and you’re on your own. This is a family program and we mean to keep our PG rating. Sort of.

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Seven Deadly Sins

Superbia, Invidia, Ira, Accidia, Avaritia, Gula and Luxuria might be company and product names from the lexicon of some naming and branding specialist in the Vatican.

But no, these are the Latin names of the seven deadly sins of Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony and Lust. The first letters of these words form the medieval Latin word saligia, from which the verb saligiare (to commit a deadly sin) is taken.

These are sometimes called capital sins, or cardinal sins. But a cardinal sin is not to be confused with a mortal sin, or with Cardinal Sin, as in Cardinal Sin to miss papal elections.

We also learned that Cardinal Sin was considered papabile.

Papabile (plural: Papabili) is an unofficial Italian term first coined by Vaticanologists and now used internationally in many languages to describe cardinals of whom it is thought likely or possible that they will be elected pope. A convenient English translation would be “popeable”, “one worthy of the position of pope” or “possible (or likely) successor to the pope”.

Cardinal Sin could have chosen the name Pope Saligia, if elected.

Oh, by the way, I’m “guest blogging” over with the lawyers again today if you want to read a serious post about Cardinal Law and the Benefit of Clergy.

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Mercedes and alphanumeric car names

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a AMG Coupe CLK 55: Mercedes has long named their car models using alphanumerics. It’s a system we’ve commented on before that is used by most luxury automotive brands (save Rolls Royce) designed to direct the bulk of brand equity to the Mercedes brand name rather than to a particular model. It’s very effective when you need consumers to remember three basic concepts and one or two specialty offshoots. Audi and BMW get there with the 4|6|8 and 3|5|7 designations, respectively.

Mercedes, however, is trying to get consumers to associate alphanumeric labels with nine-plus different ideas.

The bare basics are: C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, CLK-Class, CL-Class, SLK-Class, SL-Class, M-Class, G-Class, with a sprinkling of AMGs, SLRs, CDIs and MLs tossed-in where needed for greater obfuscation. And those are just the alpha vegetables in the alphanumeric soup.

Here is the whole 36-car pile up: C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe, C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan, C240 Luxury Sedan, C240 Luxury Wagon, C320 Sport Coupe, C320 Luxury Sedan, C320 Sport Sedan, C55 AMG, E320 Sedan, E320 CDI, E320 Wagon, E500 Sedan, E500 4MATIC Wagon, E55 AMG, S430 Sedan, S500 Sedan, S55 AMG, S600 Sedan, CLK320 Coupe, CLK320 Cabriolet,CLK500 Coupe, CLK500 Cabriolet, CLK55 AMG Coupe, CLK55 AMG Cabriolet, CLS500 Coupe, CLS55 AMG, CL500 Coupe, CL55, AMG CL600, Coupe, CL65 AMG, SLK 350 Roadster, SLK55 AMG Roadster, SL500 Roadster, SL55 AMG, SL600 Roadster, SL65 AMG, ML350 SUV, ML350 SUV Special Edition, ML500 SUV, ML500 SUV Special Edition, G500 SUV, G55 AMG, and SLR McLaren 4MATIC.

The vehicles are priced between $25,850 and $452,750, and the names do nothing towards differentiating one from the other; so bye-bye “envy” sales factor. Why pay a hundred and fifty big ones for a car that everyone thinks cost thirty? That’s no fun.

Cadillac, in its quest to muscle Mercedes aside has jumped into the fray with the vehicle “names” ESV, EXT, ETS, SRX and XLR, basking in the image mingling.

The only people crazy enough to learn and love the distinctions between the Mercedes C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, CLK-Class, CL-Class, SLK-Class, SL-Class, M-Class, G-Class, AMG, SLR, CDI and ML spend the remainder of their time playing “Prince of Persia, Warrior Within” on the Xbox and aren’t likely to purchase a car without parental consent.

Here is how some of the hairs are split:

C-Class Overview
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class offers more value and choice than ever before with the most models and body styles to choose from, and MSRPs starting under $30,000.

E-Class Overview
Offering European sophistication and performance, the exhilarating Mercedes-Benz E-Class combines the best of sedan luxury with the comfort of a wagon.

S-Class Overview
The premier luxury sedan in the world, the S-Class is the unparalleled expression of elegance, technological innovation, charismatic styling and pure driving pleasure.

CLK-Class Overview
Available in both luxury convertible and pillarless coupe models, the CLK-Class is one of the world’s most desirable and exhilarating forms of pure driving pleasure.

CLS-Class Overview
The CLS-Class redefines what a coupe can be. It offers expressive style, poised performance, a 4-seat cabin, but with four doors.

CL-Class Overview
The CL-Class is not just a distinctive and exclusive leader in the luxury coupe market. With its intense performance and refined style, it demands to be driven.

SLK-Class Overview
From its muscular stance inspired by Formula One racing to its athletic performance, the SLK-Class roadster delivers aggressive sports car styling and an exhilarating driving experience

SL-Class Overview
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is the latest incarnation of an unmatched automotive legacy, combining unrivaled technological excellence, passionate performance and timeless elegance into flawless perfection.

M-Class Overview
The M-Class is an ever-ready companion whose exemplary design, comprehensive safety features and unmatched versatility make it perfect for active and adventurous lifestyles.

On the edge of your seat for the Mercedes definitions behind G-Class, AMG, SLR, CDI and ML? Of course not — it’s too much work and there’s no reward — two things luxury should never be.

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Blog Name Generator

Mike Morgan, is having a blog-identity crisis. His weblog is suffering with the insufferable name I-Tach.

Being a lurker around Wordlab from time to time, Mike turned to our massive archives for fresh ideas and found a short list of names he thinks might work. And he was nice enough to give credit to Wordlab for these ideas; so we’re giving him space here to bring his problem to the attention of those best equipped to give him the free naming and branding input he desperately needs.

November 29, 2004

Your Input, Please: Blog Identity Crisis

I’m stuck and seek your wise counsel, dear readers…

A couple months ago, I wanted to start a blog. I didn’t think I’d be able to write enough interesting content to maintain a “general interest” blog. I didn’t think my life was interesting enough (and I have a tough time opening up emotionally) to write a “diary blog”. And a “link blog”, well, that’s just plain boring. So when I started the I-Tach Weblog, my idea was for it to be “specialty blog” centered around emergency department nursing — E.D. war stories, nursing tips and tricks, E.D. and nursing humor, et cetera and so on.

Well, guess what? My ocean of unique E.D. knowledge turned out to be more like a wading pool of knowledge. I shot that wad quickly. [Insert hokey, overdone ‘frown’ smiley here]

Instead, I found myself writing political and current events commentary, offering a tutorial on making the world’s best fake fart noise, posting humorous stuff I’ve found, and even starting to talk about a few personal items such as my adoption or our family dog getting hit by a car earlier this month.

So now I’m stuck and need your help.

December 14, 2004

Your Input, Please: New Blog Name

Thanks to your input, I’m currently rewriting the template and style for the blog. I’ll also be changing the name… I think “I-Tach” is funny as Hell, but I’ve slowly realized that it’s pretty much an inside joke, lost on most visitors.

Call me a lemming, but I like blogs with titles that make me grin. So I stopped by one of my favorite-but-only-occasionally-visited sites, WordLab, in search of inspiration. As a writer and famous-in-my-own-mind funny guy, several phrases caught my eye. Some have the potential to be a nifty blog name, some are simply punny.

So here are the phrases that I jotted down to use as inspiration for a name…

The Babble Belt
Textual Relations
Birth of a Notion
Blarney Rubble
Peanut Buddha and Jesus
Peek-A-Buddha
Capital Punmanship
Carmel Knowledge
Consummate Confessional
Cup and Chaucer
Devastating the Obvious
Flying Chaucer
English as a Fecund Language
Just Say Know
Just a Flash in the Pants
New World Odor
Grump Up The Volume
Leaves of Crass
Duct Tape and Cover
Lingo Weenie
Jack Of All Tirades
Know Way, Know How
A Norse is a Norse (of course, of course)

What do y’all think? I see potential in a couple of these, others are just too funny to let go unpublicized. Do you have another name suggestion? The name I’m working with during the redesign is A Cacophany of Miscellany, which I think is a pretty good fit with the [Fill In Your Opinion of My Writing Here] I post.

Then again, I may throw all this to the wind and go out on a limb naming it Mike Morgan in anticipation of my inevitable fame and fortune!

If you’ve got any good blog name ideas for Mike, just wander over to his weblog and add your two cents worth there.

As good as the archive lists and Forums are at Wordlab, Mike and others like him who are really stuck for a great blog name might also want to try the Band & Song Name Generator. This tool from the Musician’s Friend can be a very creative blog name regurgitator when put to the task. Here are a few more suggestions worthy of consideration:

Pleasurable Blog
Victoria’s Secretions
Red Flour
Frozen Boyfriend
Land of the Blog
Blog of the Impossible
Blog of the Tangerine
Resisting Blog
Nurse King of the Pleasurable Drool
Nipple of the Farting Earth
Eighth of the Blog
Goggles Blog
Filthy Blog
Nice Blog
Blog Flab
Blog Raspberry
Nurse Parakeet
Malignant Nurse
Rubber Nurse
Screaming Nurse
Blog Juniper
Social Blog
Blog Defaulted
Blog Mistress
Wet Nurse

Thanks to web sifter extraordinaire John Walkenbach for figuring this creative application would be great for generating blog names.

Check out Wordlab’s extensive collection of Name Generators next time you need a name for your blog or anything else.

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Automotive naming by numbers

The naming convention recently announced by Intel for its new processors is similar to that of carmaker BMW, which is acknowledged by Intel. In fact, it is reported that Intel discussed its plans with BMW before adopting the new naming by numbers, “with an eye to respecting another company’s intellectual property.”

But BMW is not the only automobile manufacturer that uses “numerology” to brand its marques. Perhaps no automotive brand has a more established tradition of using a numerical sequence to distinguish its models than does Peugeot. As far back as 1929, the French automaker began this regimen with the introduction of the Peugeot 201 at the Paris Auto Show. Since then, they’ve brought these memorable cars to market: 201, 301, 401, 601, 302, 402, 202, 203, 403, 404, 204, 504, 304, 104, 604, 305, 505, 205, 309, 405, 905, 605, 106, 306, 206, 406, 806, 607, 307, 807, and the 407. As might be evident to those trained in branding by numbers, all of these models have the distinctive 0 strategically placed in the center of the model number. Some consider it a “signature” of the famous brand.

The 3-digit identity is an essential component of Peugeot’s brand identity. Conveying a very positive image for the company, the system evokes quality, technology and performance. Approved by customers around the world, this numbering system operates as a sign of recognition and makes it easy to differentiate between models in the range: a central zero with a number on either side. It has not changed since the launch of the 201, and provides three items of information about the model concerned:

The first number indicates the family to which the vehicle belongs, its size in the range. The second digit — always 0 — is the link between the number denoting membership of a particular family and that denoting a particular generation. The third figure indicates the generation of the model.

[source: For Peugeot, Numbers are Sacred…]

Logical, yes; memorable, no. To naming and branding mavericks, it might seem that the Peugeot brand is stuck in some sort of rut. But that’s hardly the case. Recently, Peugeot announced some exciting changes in the brand’s traditional naming system.

[I]n response to market fragmentation and the consequent need for a wider range of products, each with strong distinguishing features, Peugeot has decided to expand its naming system by doubling the central 0.

The inauguration of this four-digit naming system coincides with this year’s launch by Peugeot of a new, original and innovative model that will be positioned as an extension of its existing range.

Have you seen the 2004 2004?

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Only the names have been changed: rebranding movie titles

Here is a funny article about the process of rebranding American movie titles with more literal names when the films are exported to other countries. Pretty Woman became I’m Rich But I Like Cheap Prostitutes in Germany and,

On its release in China, Boogie Nights — about a well-endowed porn star — became His Powerful Device Makes Him Famous.

The Piano, the 1993 romantic drama about a mute woman piano player in 19th-century New Zealand, was retitled Wretch! Let Me Chop Off Your Finger.

Never underestimate what a powerful device a name can be….

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