Category Archives: Metaphor

Queasy living

Originally published Mar 13, 2012 Before the financial unpleasantness of recent years, and the attendant collapse in the housing market, developers were throwing up cheap condos all over Seattle trying to accommodate /capitalize on the growing population. Now you see … Continue reading

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The name Kindle Fire: Hot or not?

Originally published Sep 29, 2011 At first glance, Kindle Fire seems like a pretty good name. It uses a thematically coherent naming strategy, similar to the one that Apple used when it named the Macintosh, presumably inspired by the apple variety McIntosh. … Continue reading

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The power of metaphor in branding

Originally published Jun 30, 2011 Language is the most efficient tool your business can use to get attention and build a brand. It gives your business a human voice, and costs almost nothing to reproduce and share. In fact, it … Continue reading

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When naming backfires

Originally published May 20, 2011 On a recent flight to San Francisco, The Name Inspector was seated, by coincidence, right across the aisle from an acquaintance. On the return flight, he was moved from an aisle to a middle seat … Continue reading

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What a tangled web we weave: “Vine” names

Originally published Jul 13, 2010 Sometimes a certain naming concept comes into vogue. In some cases, such as the post-Napster trend for names ending in –ster, or the more recent boom in names ending in –dango, the phenomenon can be traced to … Continue reading

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Lard Butt

Originally published Mar 11, 2009 The Name Inspector has recently learned about Lard Butt, a new athletic apparel company based here in Seattle. This is a great example of naming done right. First, there are the positive associations of lard, a filling … Continue reading

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Twitter

Originally published Apr 19, 2007 The name Twitter is not itself a pun, but it’s a set-up for a pun. It pretends to be a simple metaphorical name that casts the textual cacophony of its special kind of web exhibitionism as bird noise. But … Continue reading

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Apple: The power of sensory memory

Originally published Jan 10, 2007 Occasionally the Name Inspector writes about names for companies, products, or services that have achieved iconic status. There are lessons to be learned from these names, sometimes because they’re great, and sometimes because they show … Continue reading

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