There are many double-edged swords in the world, like fast food, movie marathons, and having dentists for parents.
Or creating a company name by affixing a simple, hip or cutesy suffix. You could argue it started with ~ster names, but it certainly reached saturation with ~ly names and ~able names. Don’t get me wrong; the first few were smart and useful. Born partially out of a need for a cheap or available domain name, they conferred on companies a sense of cleverness and fun, communicated their mission to boot.
Because they are so ubiquitous, the positive, albeit dull side of the sword is that these names are pleasingly familiar. They break no rules, they comfort executives and consumers alike upon first contact. But the far sharper negative side of the sword is they don’t stand out, and their shelf life is marginal.
The existing crowd of ~able names includes Mashable, Threadable, and Boostable. All of their websites are probably v clickable, and their content v snackable. Oh, and I forgot about Submittable, which has gotten a lot of press. I mean c’mon—when you can stick a cutesy suffix onto the driest, most reminiscent of homework word “submit” and turn it into a “cool” start-up name, I think the trend should officially end.
But instead we have Watchable, a YouTube competitor from Comcast, and the latest name to jump on the insufferable suffixable bandwagon.
Its biggest fault is that it just feels too easy. It’s derivative instead of innovative, and has the conspicuous feeling of something created by a corporation to target millennials. Watchable is asking in desperation, “I’m cool, right guys? RIGHT?”
But it also feels contrived. After all, Comcast seemed to blindly follow the ~able trend without thinking about what the name actually means. After all, watchable is a real word that means ABLE TO BE WATCHED or, generously, something along the lines of MODERATELY ENJOYABLE to watch. It isn’t gripping, it isn’t viral, it isn’t hot. It’s watchable. And just because something can be watched doesn’t mean it should be.
Let me reiterate. Unlike fashion trends, naming trends are to be avoided at all costs. You can cut your man bun in a few months, but the hope with a name is that it will be forever. And the trendier a name is, the quicker it will feel old.