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Preview: Fritinancy


Names, brands, writing, and the language of commerce.

Updated: 2016-09-26T06:30:00-07:00


Word of the week: Kayfabe


Kayfabe: /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ In professional wrestling, the portrayal of staged events as “real” or “true.” The term came from the carnival world, where – according to TV Tropes – it is thought to have originated as Pig Latin for be fake. (According to my sources, its original pronunciation would thus have...

Doing more with -less


In 1995 there was Clueless, writer/director Amy Heckerling’s updating of Jane Austen’s Emma; the big-screen version begat a TV series by the same name. Last year brought Limitless, another movie-to-TV recycling, this one about “an average 28-year-old man who gains the ability to use the full extent of his brain’s...

Word of the week: Mountebank


Mountebank: A charlatan; a seller of quack medicines who attracts customers with stories, jokes, or tricks; a con artist. From Italian monta im banco, one who gets up on a bench (to speak). Pronounced with three syllables. I’m imagining the members of the New York Times editorial board debating which...

September linkfest


What if business jargon were made literal and tangible? Artists Isabel + Helen take on that challenge with A Load of Jargon, an installation opening tomorrow at The Conran Shop in London’s Chelsea district. The exhibit turns five buzzwords – “thinking cap,” “big idea,” “next steps,” “easy win,” and “going...

Fashion word watch: Cold shoulder


Today is the final day of New York Fashion Week (NYFW), the seven-day period during which designers present their new collections — Spring/Summer 2017, this time around — to the press and well-heeled clients. (The event has been called Fashion Week since 1993; for half a century before then, it...