The Name Inspector just learned about Incesoft, which claims on its website to be “the world’s leading provider of web robot technology”. Now, this is a Chinese company (which was selected for inclusion on the 2007 Red Herring 100 Asia list), so that’s a bit of an excuse, but…Incesoft? Is that the very best name they could come up with? Did they consider alternatives that evoked no primal human taboos in English and just find them too humdrum?

Even leaving aside the association with inappropriate intrafamilial contact, this is a terrible name. How are you supposed to pronounce it? If the first part is supposed to rhyme with the word wince, then the two syllables of this name are separated by an impossibly long hissing sound. It hardly helps to insert a little schwa sound for the e. But maybe there’s another pronunciation that makes more sense.

If there are Mandarin speakers reading this, please help The Name Inspector understand how this monstrosity might have come into existence. Is the Ince- part based on a transliteration of something nice? A family name perhaps?

Some naming companies offer a service that allows you to screen names in different languages. (The Name Inspector helped to develop just such a service at one of the companies where he worked). Incesoft perfectly demonstrates the need for this service. This name should have been vetted in English before being unleashed on the world. It’s for a global technology company, after all.

All this shows the downside of marketing on the web. It’s never been easier to create a global brand, and it’s never been easier to saddle yourself with a horrible name.

[tags]incesoft, the name incesoft, robots, web robots[/tags]

9 Responses to “Incesoft”

  1. on 02 Jan 2008 at 7:39 pm Siddhartha

    I think ‘Inces’ stands for ‘Infinity, Nature, Communication, Experience’. At least that is what is evident from their website. I don’t speak Mandarin.

  2. on 05 Jan 2008 at 6:01 am Rui

    It might come from incense, a fairly common word for Asia that might evoke calmness, meditation, spiritual mood. When reading it I don’t make the connection to the word you refer, but then again, my native language is not English.

  3. on 14 Jan 2008 at 10:01 pm K.

    I’m a native English speaker and I’d certainly be thrown by the obvious connotation in our language of “inces.”

    It’s a worse version of Rick Steves Syndrome (his travel company is actually really interesting but it’s called “Europe Through the Back Door” — which is supposed to mean Europe through unfamiliar, non-touristy pathways, but my friends my age or younger don’t see it that way, especially given his company name “Back Door Productions” [!]).

    I can only guess that both Incesoft and Rick Steves have had these problems pointed out to them many times and they consider their names to be too well established to change?

  4. on 05 Feb 2008 at 9:08 pm dan

    Actually at first glance the ‘intrafamilial contact’ aspect was not evident to me at all, because the ‘soft’ in Incesoft dominates. What is confusing is the ambiguity of pronunciation of ‘Ince’.

    Incesoft brings to mind Inchcape, a trading company long-established in the Far East. However there is nothing in the website to suggest this is intentional.

    Perhaps ‘Infinity, Nature’ etc should feature more prominently on the website, i.e. on the home page.

  5. on 05 Feb 2008 at 9:10 pm dan

    Another thought – make the ‘s’ capital: InceSoft.

  6. on 29 Jun 2008 at 12:04 pm Maddie

    I’m going to speak for the youth of America here…

    When I glanced at that title for only a second, I immediately began laughing. While the name really stuck out for me, I would not be using their product.

    The name is a joke, I couldn’t take it seriously.

  7. on 15 Jul 2008 at 7:00 am Mat

    Reading that name quickly, I see ‘Incest’. Nuff said.

  8. on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:01 am JJ

    Their Chinese name is 贏思軟體.

    The first character 贏 (ying) means “to win”
    The second character 思 (si) means “to think”
    While the next two 軟體 (ruan ti) means software.

    But yeah, the translation is pretty bad. Even a direct translation, YingSiSoft would’ve looked better :)

  9. on 19 Dec 2012 at 2:22 am News

    Hello there! This post couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read.
    I appreciate you for sharing!

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