Archive for the 'Naming' Category

Communication vs. verbal design

Because naming involves words, it’s often discussed and evaluated as if it were primarily a matter of verbal communication, like a special kind of copywriting. Actually naming lies at the intersection of communication and design. That’s true of verbal branding more generally, but it’s especially true of naming. Names communicate because they use verbal elements [...]

From a namer’s point of view, a name has to work in two ways. First, it has to be smartly conceived and well designed linguistically. If it is, it’s likely to achieve what it needs to and be liked by people. Second, it has to meet the client’s expectations and standards. Sometimes those are more [...]

The University of Washington is one of those grand, beautiful flagship public universities and a driving force in Seattle’s hopping economy. The Name Inspector has loved the UW ever since he moved to Seattle, and not only because he happens to be married to a brilliant and beautiful history professor who works there. Heck, his [...]

Founders, you can come up with a good name for your startup on your own. You may be surprised to hear this from The Name Inspector, who is, after all, a naming consultant. So why should anyone hire a naming consultant? Like so many business decisions, it’s a matter of using resources efficiently. Naming takes [...]

Naming isn’t all soft, fuzzy language stuff. Mind you, The Name Inspector loves the soft, fuzzy language stuff. It’s his job to love it. But he realizes that businesspeople often have more practical considerations on their minds, as they should. So here are some hard practical truths about naming that The Name Inspector often shares with [...]

When people face challenges they feel unprepared for, they want rules. They want experts to explain to them clearly and unequivocally what to do. And there’s usually no shortage of people willing to step into that expert role. Naming is one challenge that many people find baffling, and naming rules abound in blogs, books, and [...]

The Seattle-based mobile platform company ZenZui recently changed its name to Zumobi, in preparation for a beta release in December. The name ZenZui was based on the word zen plus the acronym zui, which stands for ‘Zooming User Interface’. That’s the technology, developed at Microsoft Research, that Zumobi claims will take the pain out of [...]

While perusing the children’s section of a local used bookstore, The Name Inspector came across a lovely book that’s basically about naming. He was as surprised as you are. The book, first published in 1958, is Ounce Dice Trice. It was written by Alastair Reid and beautifully illustrated by the artist Ben Shahn. Reid is [...]

Last week John Cook at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer asked: What is it with the word ‘dango’ and internet companies?. Of course, there’s the online movie site Fandango. And then there’s Portland’s Jobdango and Seattle’s Zoodango. Now, a former Microsoft project manager is rolling out a new site called GodDango, which he hopes will become a [...]

TrenchMice is was a site where people can share inside scoops about the companies where they work. Trenchmouse John has written a great post about how they came up with the name TrenchMice. This is one of the best, most thorough naming stories that The Name Inspector has come across. John wrote the post in [...]

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