Welsh naming contest

If you’re Welsh, on the Internet, and know what an airplane is, have we got a naming contest for you:

Air Southwest is offering one lucky person the chance to win a trip from Newquay Airport for them and up to three friends or family with the launch of its ‘Name that Plane’ competition.

The airline will take delivery in February of the latest Dash 8-300 aircraft to join the Air Southwest fleet and the people of Cornwall are being asked to give it a name.

Whoever comes up with the winning name, which will be chosen by Air Southwest, will win four return tickets to any destination of their choice served by Air Southwest from Newquay.

The airline currently flies from Newquay to London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Dublin and Bristol, and from April 10 will start a twice daily service to Cardiff.

So summon the likes of Dafydd ap Gwilym, William Williams Pantycelyn and Hedd Wyn and get…ooh, wait a minute, “Hedd Wynd”, that’s a winner! Quick, submit it here!

Ei aberth nid a heibio – ei wyneb Annwyl nid a’n ango Er i’r Almaen ystaenio Ei dwrn dur yn ei waed o!

The Wayward Forward

Ford Motor Company has actually named its initiative to halt the hemorrhaging of its market share, taking a que from Alice Walker and naming it “The Way Forward”. Cold comfort to the 30,000 workers who will be left behind.

Rumor has it that Ford was considering holding meetings to discuss the possibility of manufacturing products that people actually want to buy, and even resurrecting their old chestnut, “Quality is job one”, but all of the meeting rooms were booked.

Still, it could happen. The automotive branding world has been full of resurrections in the past four years. Buick’s dead man designer Harely Earl was dug up back in late 2002, while in the same month Chevrolet turned to Jesus for inspiration, and an odd coalition of lefties and righties launched “What would Jesus Drive?”. Just last November Audi began playing God, with talk of “Inteligent Design”.

Clearly, Ford’s “The Way Forward” has missed the Ark.

Except for this, this and this.

Contrarian investing with Igor

Here’s the best investing advice you will ever receive, and it’s so simple an advertising executive could have an assistant do it for them. Just follow our name announcements and client acquisition news. When you spot a public company hiring Igor, short that stock! Why? It’s indicative of systemically flawed judgment.

In the past 12 months this would include MTV (Viacom), Hasbro, Dupont, Boston Beer, MGM, Palm, Gap, Hitachi, etc. Full list here.

Monday Monday

A little Paul Anka, just to get your week off on a sour note. This was used as Kodak’s song, if you remember. If only we could forget. We thought we had, until Unlawyer was callous enough to dig it up:

Good morning, yesterday
You wake up and time has slipped away
And suddenly it’s hard to find
The memories you left behind
Remember, do you remember?

The laughter and the tears
The shadows of misty yesteryears
The good times and the bad you’ve seen
And all the others in between
Remember, do you remember
The times of your life? (Do you remember?)

Reach out for the joy and the sorrow
Put them away in your mind
The mem’ries are times that you borrow
To spend when you get to tomorrow

Here comes the saddest part (Comes the saddest part)
The seasons are passing one by one
So gather moments while you may
Collect the dreams you dream today
Remember, will you remember
The times of your life?

Gather moments while you may
Collect the dreams you dream today
Remember, will you remember
The times of your life?

Of your life
Of your life
Do you remember, baby
Do you remember the times of your life?

Do you remember, baby
Do you remember the times of your life?

Agilent spawns Verigy

Agilent issused a press release today announcing the name of their to-be-spun-off semiconductor testing business as “Verigy”.

The Agilent / Verigy release demonstrates yet another case of reverse engineered rationale, created solely for an internal audience for the purpose of buy-in and sign-off on the name:

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 12, 2006–Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today announced it has selected a name for its upcoming semiconductor test spin-off company. The new name, Verigy, will be used when the new company separates from Agilent, which is expected to occur near mid-2006.

The name is built from the Latin prefix “veri-” (”true, genuine”), which is the root of “verification” (”to prove the truth of, substantiate”) and so ties the name to the test business. The “-gy” suffix comes from the combining form “-logy,” meaning the name of sciences or bodies of knowledge, as in biology and geology. Verigy describes a company dealing with the true nature of things. The sound of the name connotes energy.

Now that you’ve been schooled by Agilent in what Verigy communicates, will you ever forget? Of course you will, because it communicates nothing.

Bacronym Buy-in

A bacronym is a reverse engineered acronym. The idea is you find a name for something and to help sell it to the approval committee you create an acronym as an afterthought, buttressing your argument for the name. Nobody ever remembers what the bacronym stands for, but no matter. The audience it is created for is strictly internal and only for buy-in.

The most extreme example of this in recent memory is ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”, aka the USA PATRIOT act.

It’s true. Because Asinine Consultants Rely On Nattering YesManship

A common language

Madman Elliot Back has beautifully quantified the words that most commonly appear in the names of blogs:

Wondering how people name their blogs is an old question, never answered to my satisfaction. Fortunately the Blogwise directory hosts a list of 33810 blogs. Extracting the names of each blog from the directory itself took some work, but the result is this text file of blog names, one per line. Now that I got the raw data, it’s time to go to work.

Quickly coding a solution in C#, I wrote a program to tokenize the blog names by whitespace and punctuation, and place the resulting words in a hashmap for counting purposes. This gives a tab-delimited (paste into Excel!) text file of words used in blog titles and their frequency…

…The top word, used in 9.986 percent of the blogs surveyed was “blog.” The next most popular, at 2.619 percent, is “life.” Here’s the top 10 words in a blog’s name:

1. blog – 9.986%
2. life – 2.619%
3. weblog – 1.841%
4. world – 1.296%
5. from – 1.226%
6. journal – 1.139%
7. news – 1.087%
8. thoughts – 1.039%
9. with – 0.670%
10. daily – 0.660%

Elliot goes much deeper into the mire here. It’s no surprise that most blog names are intuitively descriptive, for that is the norm across all product, service and company names. The result is a manky swirl of achromatic Gesso.

The key to powerful naming is finding the metaphor less traveled.