Descriptive, But Not Too

By Maria Cypher

October 28, 2005

Descriptive names definitely have their place, but you always have to be careful about tripping over everyday language….

Last week, I traveled with two of my young kids to DC. My cousin met us at the baggage claim, prepaid for parking at an automated machine, and off we all trundled to her Audi. So far so good. But then: a snag. All the tollbooth signs read, “Pay and Go.” “Well, of course you can pay and go, silly,” we both said with exasperation. “What about folks who’ve prepaid?”

The brilliant namer among us finally ascertained that Pay and Go is in fact the name of Dulles’ prepaid parking system.

Note to namers: sometimes the target audience is “tired moms who’ve been traveling for six hours with high-maintenance companions.” Name should not be confusing in any way.


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