Friday Fun with Words

By Mark Skoultchi

June 27, 2008

We recently made some interior design upgrades in our office. (See next week’s post for some visual examples.) Part of our redesign included swapping out our old Catchword sign for a new and improved one. Some of the old letters stuck around and we like to play word jumble with them, concocting all sorts of fun phrases. Here’s one I created when my iMac suffered a power supply failure last Friday. These G5 iMacs sure aren’t the sturdiest machines Apple ever built. (Notice the clever rearrangement of “d” to make a “p.”)


The lobby of our building seemed to catch on to the infectious fun we were having with signage. The Tribune Tower itself has been undergoing some recent renovations, including new elevator interiors and a lobby facelift. We’ve become accustomed to various signs indicating an elevator is out of service, or to be careful of wet paint. But despite the onslaught of recent signage, we were still a bit surprised (and confused) but the temporary addition of the blue sign below.

At first, my confusion led me to simply use the third exit through the adjacent coffee shop doorway. Upon returning, I saw people clearly heeding the advice of the new blue sign instead of the old permanent one. I wonder what that says about people’s responses to signs and words. Does new = more important? More relevant? More commanding? Or is it the bright, flashy color that gave the sign its power of influence? And can we apply any of this to the world of naming? Well, rest assured that we’ll put on our very finest Friday thinking caps and figure this one out!

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