Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The Name Inspector has noticed frequent feelings of boredom and skepticism as he reads social media content. Here are ten questions he has asked himself in those moments.  1. Is improving productivity and physical health really the aim of all life choices? 2. Is being a “rock star” really the best metaphor for excelling? 3. [...]

Microstyle in Turkish!

The Name Inspector is pleased to report that the Turkish translation of Microstyle has been published by BZD Yayincilik! It actually happened a while ago but only recently came to his attention. So now there are Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Turkish editions out there. A Brazilian edition is supposed to be in the works, but [...]

Ronald Johnson

The Name Inspector has had a hard time writing this post. The reason is a sad one: his father died in January. It isn’t so much that grieving has made it impossible to work. Rather, The Name Inspector has had the impulse to announce this news and to offer some kind of tribute, yet has [...]


Somehow, when The Name Inspector wasn’t looking, Groupon grew from an obscure startup with a funny name to a business robust and confident enough to say “No thank you” to a $6-billion acquisition offer from Google. Maybe that’s why called Groupon the fastest-growing web business ever. Faster than Ebay,, or Google. Whoa. Groupon [...]

The Corn Refiners Assocation has recently petitioned the FDA to change the name of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)  to “corn sugar”. They’re following the new rule: if your name gets dragged through the mud, get a new one! But when did people start to think of sugar as something wholesome? The Name Inspector is [...]

The poor overworked letter x

People have been asking a lot of the letter x lately. While most letters only have to express one sound at a time, x already bears responsibility for expressing two sounds, k and s, squished together. As if that weren’t enough, entrepreneurs are asking it to do even more jobs, some pretty strange. Of course, [...]

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 an original name that inspires imitators. In other cases, there seems to be more of a Zeitgeist effect–the [...]

The Name Inspector is planning a big post about Seattle startup names (and will of course refer to Seattle 2.0′s Seattle Startup Index). So he can add a little human interest, he’d love to hear from you Seattle entrepreneurs out there about how you named your company, what your company name means to you, what [...]


There used to be a not-for-profit credit union in the Seattle area called Group Health Credit Union, named after a local nonprofit health care system. They’ve changed their name to Salal. This is a name that might have great positive associations for some and leave the rest of us scratching our heads. Salal is the [...]

The Name Inspector has finished his book manuscript! Of course, his able editor at Norton will probably request a revision or two, but why quibble? So, in lieu of flowers, he asks that you please simply pop over over here and vote, because this blog has once again been nominated for the Top 100 Language Blogs [...]

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