A rose by any other name.
I am obsessed with names.
Names of humans, businesses, towns, job titles, pets, you name it. (Heh.) I think the spelling, sound, and general tone of a name is very important, which is why I’m so baffled at some business names I’ve taken note of lately:
1) Dress Barn
This name seems benign enough at first, but it’s underlying tone is offensive. I feel like they are saying to me, “You are so large that we had to build a barn to store your possible wardrobe. A normal store couldn’t contain the acres and acres of polycotton blend necessary to clothe you, so we erected this enormous shed in a remote corn field. Also, everything smells like manure in here.”
2) Supper Thyme USA
I met a nice girl named Carly in a sculpture class in college. We often chatted away as we chipped, shaped, and sanded away at blocks of gypsum plaster in the studio. One day I asked Carly where she worked. She immediately started giggling. “It’s such a dumb name, you’re not going to believe it- it’s called Supper Thyme USA, and they spell time as t-h-y-m-e, like the herb.” First of all, hearing this ridiculous name didn’t give me the slightest clue as to what this company actually does. Secondly, every word is crazy. Who says supper? It is 2010. We say dinner these days. I’ll concede that the thyme pun is a little bit awesome, and adding USA to the end of anything automatically makes it a joke. At least I can’t forget this ridiculous small business name. I suppose they win on that count.
3) Kupcakz/Kwik Kopy/anything with a ‘K’ where there should be a ‘C’ or a ‘Z’ where there ought to be an ‘S’
This is a major pet peeve of mine. Spelling things wrong is not kute. It’s not kreative. It’s not katchy. It only makes me hate you and think you may be a klan member. I have heard that the baked goods at Kupcakz bakery in Tulsa are really yummy, but I won’t go there because of the name. Who named this place? These are the same kind of people who think naming a child Brytknie (pronounced Brittany) is okay. IT IS NOT OKAY.
What’s in a name? Everything. Hearing a name is the public’s first opportunity to make a judgement call about a company. This reminds me of Arrested Development. Did you watch that show? I loved it. My pal Katie introduced me to it’s hilarious glory in college. My favorite character was Tobias, the nevernude. Tobias took the liberty of naming his profession.
“I was a professional twice over- an analyst and a therapist. The world’s first analrapist.” -Tobias Funke
Have an example of terrible business nomenclature? Comment below. I’d love to hear it.