Archive for the 'Words' Category

Watch out! There’s a new electric motorcycle in town. It’s the Enertia, from Brammo. Yes, like the word inertia, but with an E, which The Name Inspector supposes stands for electric. So, electric + inertia. Inertia. Kind of an unusual word choice for a motorcycle, don’t you think? Inertia, as we all remember from physics [...]

On Wednesday the Global Language Monitor “announced” that English got its one-millionth word at precisely 10:22 am GMT that day. And the word was Web 2.0, so naturally, blogs such as  Mashable, John Battelle’s Searchblog,  and TechCrunch took notice. Now, The Name Inspector realizes that the “millionth word” story is a ridiculous play for attention [...]

While perusing the New York Times magazine last weekend, The Name Inspector saw a big ad for a new organic vodka called Crop. It’s clear what they were going for with this name. It connects the product to its agricultural origins. It makes the vodka seem like something natural and fresh and wholesome–like food! Let’s [...]

The Name Inspector is usually too busy inspecting names to scold people about other linguistic matters. But in this case he can no longer stand to remain silent. He emailed William Safire about an error that appeared in his column On Language way back in April. He’s been waiting for a public outcry, rowdy demonstrations [...]

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 Friday’s New York Times had an article about QVC, described as “the leading home shopping network”. QVC is one of those boring abbreviation names—it stands for “Quality, Value, Convenience”. Apparently QVC wants to jazz up its image with a rebranding of sorts, and has a new ad campaign prominently featuring the letter Q. The [...]

The Name Inspector is at Gnomedex right now. Vanessa Fox, who founded Google Webmaster Central and now works at Zillow, just led an impromptu discussion about, among other things, how you become a brand when you have a heavy online presence. That fact has created a new world of naming, and Vanessa has a crazy [...]

BusinessWeek on new words

Catherine Holahan at BusinessWeek.com has written a nice, though brief, article about the trouble lexicographers have keeping up with all the new words that are being rapidly created and disseminated on the web (e.g. wiki, google, vlog, mash-up). Lexicographers have not traditionally allowed new words into their dictionaries until those words show evidence of consistent [...]