Sunday, February 24, 2008

How other naming firms work: the process revealed

In a stunning admission in a recent article, Jim Singer of Namebase (the naming firm behind such gems as Any'tizers™, Tranax, and Softwin razors), revealed the company's naming process, "We sit around a table and think up good-sounding words, and then we take them apart and try to sell them to the clients afterwards with a lot of science behind it. But really we're just kind of babbling in there, and when a good one comes out, we write it down." WHAAAAAAAAAAAT? That's like saying we wait for images to show up in our toast in the morning (The Virgin Mary, President Bush, Brad Pitt) and then we run ourselves through a series of ink-blot tests ("I see a car, a butterfly, a pygmy goat!"). Then we combine the first three letters of the toast shapes with the last three letters of the object that we see in the ink blot.

A lame duck and other names that make us cringe.

Here's the latest batch of "what were they smoking?"
Head Scratchers™ for the Name Shame Hall of Fame™.
Inxight Federal Systems
Legal Zoom
With a Twyst

Aneres (Serena spelled backwards - get it?!!!)
ALCiS (pain relief cream - ironic considering the painful name)

Many thanks to Three Girls Media, who have a knack for spotting really lame names and sending them in. Send your entries to nameshame@

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lolita Bed for sexually active pre-teens!

LONDON (Reuters) - A chain of retail stores in Britain has withdrawn the sale of beds named Lolita and designed for six-year-old girls after furious parents pointed out that the name was synonymous with sexually active pre-teens.
Woolworths said staff who administer the web site selling the beds were not aware of the connection.
In "Lolita," a 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the narrator becomes sexually involved with his 12-year-old stepdaughter -- but Woolworths staff had not heard of the classic novel or two subsequent films based on it.
Hence they saw nothing wrong with advertising the Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a whitewashed wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard intended for girls aged about six until a concerned mother raised the alarm on a parenting website.
"What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either," a spokesman told British newspapers.
"We had to look it up on (online encyclopedia) Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now." Woolworths said the product had now been dropped. "Now this has been brought to our attention, the product has been removed from sale with immediate effect," the chain said.
"We will be talking to the supplier with regard to how the branding came about."
NOTE: Eat My Words did not name the Lolita bed, although we think Lolita would make a great name for a line of junior prom dresses.