1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 23 Articles
In September, Domino's Pizza -- the second-largest pizza chain in the United States, with annual revenue approaching $1.5 billion -- introduced "Artisan Pizzas" to its 5,000 stores nationwide. Are you picturing skilled workers up to their elbows in whole-grain flour and locally sourced tomatoes, lovingly patting each pie into a charmingly irregular shape? Well, forget about it. Continue reading...
Earlier this week, we featured an excerpt from Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector. Here we continue Johnson's discussion of how "the crowded space of names might create a need for more complex ways to create names." Continue reading...
Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector, has a new book out called Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little about how contemporary message-makers need to become "verbal miniaturists." In this excerpt, Johnson explains how "neologisms can be among the most powerful of micromessages." Continue reading...
This is the story of two business names — both US trademarks, one for half a century and one for less than a year. Actually, it's the story of the word that's common to both trademarks. And to get directly to my point, it's about the way that one word has shifted in meaning over recent history — but only incompletely, so that both meanings coexist a little uncomfortably in semantic space, at least for me and many other speakers of American English. Continue reading...
When the American Dialect Society selected app as the 2010 Word of the Year, it was a nod to the tech term's sudden ubiquity over the past year or two. And now it's more contested than ever with Apple locked in litigation with two rivals, Microsoft and Amazon, in an attempt to hold on to a trademark for app store. How did we get to the point where, as the Apple slogan goes, "there's an app for that" (regardless of whose store you buy it from)? Continue reading...
When google, a verb meaning "to search the Internet," was chosen by the American Dialect Society as Word of the Decade (2000-09), my ADS colleague Grant Barrett wondered whether Google's trademark lawyers might have preferred it if the runner-up, blog, had won instead. It is of course a tribute to the vast popularity of Google that it has become accepted as a generic verb for online searching, but the protectors of the trademark wouldn't necessarily see it that way. Meanwhile, Microsoft, creators of the rival search engine Bing, would very much like people to use their brand name as a verb. Continue reading...
Yesterday in the Language Lounge, we took a look at what happens when a trademark ends up lapsing into generic use. The term genericide came up as a description for this loss of a trademark's protected status. The word raised some eyebrows among our readers, as well it should. Continue reading...
1 2 3 4 Displaying 15-21 of 23 Articles

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