Got a company or a product or a website you need to name? Well, be wary of the potential pitfalls: trademark disputes; pronounceability; being mistaken for a dead body...
Name developer Nancy Friedman explains how she helps companies find the right names, and why so many currently end in '-ify'.
Plus: The Allusionist's origin story, with Radiotopiskipper Roman Mars.
- Nancy's blog Fritinancy is essential reading about the language of commerce and naming trends.
- Learn a bit more about Nancy's job of developing names in this Wordnik interview.
- Nancy's colleague Chris Johnson, aka The Name Inspector, has been tracking the -ify name trend for quite a while.
- There already IS a Word Detective, and here they are on the history of 'trend'.
- 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell.
- 'More Than Words' by Extreme.
- You know Roman Mars loves naming things since he appeared on the Eponyms I episode. There's also a 99% Invisible episode about name development, and he talks about naming his children on The Longest Shortest Time.
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/brand.
PS Nancy's verdict is in on 'The Allusionist' as a name.
1. THE GREAT COURSES PLUS. Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/Allusion to stream any of their video lectures for free for 30 days. There are thousands to choose from, but how about you join me watching The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins? It is very much our sort of thing, listeners.
2. FALLEN LONDON. Victorian London has been stolen and stashed a mile underground. And what are YOU going to do about it? This huge text adventure game is free to play, but take yourself to failbettergames.com/allusionist, sign up, and you’ll get a special gift that you can use in the game when you play in your browser or in the new Fallen London app.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Nancy Friedman is a name developer. Find out more about her work at wordworking.com; read her blog about naming and the language of commerce, Fritinancy; read her pieces about words on Visual Thesaurus and Rude Words on Strong Language, and follow her on Twitter @fritinancy. TL;DR: if you're interested in words, you should be all over Nancy's work.
- Roman Mars hosts 99% Invisible. It's alright, I suppose.
- Martin Austwick composed the theme for this show, and the rest of the music that wasn't by Extreme, Boyzone or melodium.
- This episode was produced by Devon Taylor, Cheeka Eyers and me, Helen Zaltzman.