Catchword in Washington PostCatchword’s very own Laurel Sutton was consulted by WaPo reporter Hayley Tsukayama on Samsung’s selection of “Bixby” for its new AI assistant.

If Samsung has its way, we’ll all be bellowing voice commands to “Bixby,” the company’s new voice assistant. Yet Bixby could be hard for some users to call upon because of the placement of one letter: the “x.”

The “x” in Bixby sounds essentially like a “k” and an “s” combined, which is difficult for many people around the world to say, according to linguists, including for those in Samsung’s native South Korea.

“Lots of languages do not allow for certain kinds of consonant clusters,” William Idsardi, head of the linguistics department at the University of Maryland, said in an email. …

Bixby can also be a good brand for Samsung because it doesn’t have many preexisting associations with it, said Laurel Sutton, co-founder of the naming firm Catchword, linguist and information officer for the American Name Society. Sutton said that some may remember “Incredible Hulk” actor Bill Samsung logoBixby, or know another person with that name, but it’s not a particularly common word. …

Read the full story here: Why Samsung’s name for its personal assistant may twist quite a few tongues

Catchword’s very own Laurel Sutton was consulted by WaPo reporter Hayley Tsukayama on Samsung’s selection of “Bixby” for its new AI assistant.