Heritage starts with one’s name: Hispanic personal names

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Today is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, during which we celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. The first step in recognizing someone’s achievements is to know what to call him or her, and using...
By |September 15th, 2016|CatchThis News, Language Use|Comments Off on Heritage starts with one’s name: Hispanic personal names

Was Ist in an English Name?

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*Guest post by Werner Brandl, Munich* For an English speaker from the United States, a visit to Germany can be an exciting as well as amusing experience. Most items found in a US supermarket are branded with English words and...
By |May 9th, 2016|Brand Naming, Branding, Language Use, Product Naming|Comments Off on Was Ist in an English Name?

Tiers of Pain: Many Companies Mess Up Product Naming Hierarchies

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Many companies offer tiers of products for the customers, but creating a coherent product naming scheme for the various tiers is difficult. The names of a hierarchical product line have to be distinct so as not to be confused, and...
By |December 3rd, 2015|Branding, Language Use, Naming Tips, Product Naming|Comments Off on Tiers of Pain: Many Companies Mess Up Product Naming Hierarchies

I’m Blushing A Light Shade of YouTube Red

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YouTube just revealed the name of their new ad-free, paid subscription service: YouTube Red.  Eponymous of their eminently recognizable color scheme, I presume. But this namer who shall remain nameless couldn't help but observe that, well, YouTube Red bears a...
By |October 22nd, 2015|Brand Naming, Fun Stuff, In-the-News, Language Use|Comments Off on I’m Blushing A Light Shade of YouTube Red

Denali is Beautiful

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President Obama officially reinstated Denali as the primary name for the highest peak in North America. In several Native Alaskan dialects, Denali means “the tall one” or “big mountain.” The people who have lived in its shadow for thousands of...
By |September 1st, 2015|Catchword, In-the-News, Language Use|Comments Off on Denali is Beautiful

The Strange Case of Strange Fruit

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Originally published on Duetsblog on December 18, 2014   Of all the marketing people in the biz, you’d think a PR firm would have the best instincts for names that appeal, rather than repel, the public at large. A firm...
By |December 26th, 2014|Branding, Language Use, Naming Tips|Comments Off on The Strange Case of Strange Fruit

It’s Anaan not Allen: Personal Names and Cultural Identity

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As naming consultants, when we're naming products or companies we generally recommend a name that's easy and intuitive for target audiences to say and spell. But when naming babies? Well, ease of pronunciation can often take a second seat to...
By |May 28th, 2014|Catchword, In-the-News, Language Use|Comments Off on It’s Anaan not Allen: Personal Names and Cultural Identity

Buzz, Bing, Zip: Onomatopoeia

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From the Greek term for “name-making”, onomatopoeia refers to the creation of a name by imitating the sound of the thing or action to which it refers.  The Snap, Crackle, Pop of Rice Krispies is the classic example, but you...
By |February 26th, 2014|Language Use|Comments Off on Buzz, Bing, Zip: Onomatopoeia

Don’t Use This Acronym: CW’s Laurel Sutton Has a Place in the OED

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On my desk sits the Compact version of the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the most amazing publications ever put together by humans.  It is the definitive record of the English language, featuring 600,000 words and 3 million quotations; each...
By |October 14th, 2013|Catchword, Language Use|Comments Off on Don’t Use This Acronym: CW’s Laurel Sutton Has a Place in the OED

Any Portmanteau in a Storm: Of Zonkeys and Other Cross- Breeds

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Photo courtesy of Whitney Carpenter. I confess, I'm a sucker for a portmanteau. There’s just something so satisfying about forming a new word by squishing two old ones together. Smog (smoky fog), jeggings (jean leggings), murses (male nurses): portmanteaus are...
By |September 18th, 2013|Language Use|Comments Off on Any Portmanteau in a Storm: Of Zonkeys and Other Cross- Breeds