CatchThis Blog / Language Use

Alex Kelley and Erin Milnes

April 4, 2017

We all remember the California Milk Processor Board’s famous question. But before we can ask ourselves if we’ve got milk, we need to agree on what milk is. A fellowship of US Congresspeople is pushing a bill (the DAIRY Pride Act) that would ban non animal-based drinks from being called “milk,” “yogurt,” or “cheese.” Are you […]

Erin Milnes

November 8, 2016

As we learned last time, onomastics is the linguistic study of names. The impact of names in the political realm is a topic of recent studies and is right up our alley at Catchword. Kaysitch? Kahsick? Pronounceability of candidate names Given the lowest-common-denominator nature of national politics, unusual names are clearly something to overcome at […]

Erin Milnes

November 4, 2016

Onomastics is the branch of linguistics that deals with names. (Yes, “onomastics” — slip that one into your next cocktail party conversation!) But the influence of names in the political arena has an effect far beyond that of linguistic observation. Studies of elections in California, North Dakota, Ohio, and other states have shown definitively that the order […]

Erin Milnes

September 15, 2016

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 someone’s name according to their preferred custom is a critical component of respect. Personal name […]

Erin Milnes

May 9, 2016

*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 phrases—if we disregard the Italian and French-heavy deli section. But in Germany, many English terms […]

Alex Kelley

December 3, 2015

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 yet part of an intuitive family so they appear obviously linked to the same product […]

Alex Kelley

October 22, 2015

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 striking resemblance to a well-known website of the adult variety, RedTube, which Alexa ranks as […]

Alex Kelley

September 1, 2015

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 years call the mountain Denali, and it is just to restore the traditional name. And […]

Laurel Sutton

December 26, 2014

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 in Austin, Texas that specializes in food and drink recently chose the name Perennial PR, […]

Mark Skoultchi

May 28, 2014

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 other important factors, like cultural pride and family lineage. Yet there’s a price to pay […]