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Preview: Fritinancy


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

Updated: 2017-09-18T06:30:00-07:00


Word of the week: Jitney


This week, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) will consider approving a new permit program for private transit vehicles, or PTVs. These vehicles – currently, Chariot is the only one operating in the city – use shuttle vans and a smartphone app; they are “open to the public, charge...

Noun, voyager


In Advertising Land, parts of speech move freely across borders. Nouns become verbs (“Prepare to Pumpkin,” “Let’s Movie”); adjectives become nouns (“Welcome to Possible,” “The Power of True”). This functional shift, or anthimeria, happens in regular English, too – share and contact were nouns long before they were verbs –...

Word of the week: Spoonie


I’ve followed Tinu Abayomi-Paul on Twitter for years, but I only recently noticed that her profile included the hashtag #spoonie, a term unfamiliar to me. So I did a little research. Spoonie is only tangentially related to the verb to spoon – to court or woo, especially in a silly...

Name in the news: Verrit


Last weekend Peter Daou, a political blogger and former adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, launched Verrit, a website that purports to be “for the 65.8 million.” The number refers to the popular-vote plurality won by Clinton in 2016 (which, of course, was insufficient to win the Electoral College, ergo...

Word of the week: Hustle


In early 2016, when Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign was looking for a way to connect with supporters and recruit volunteers, it turned to Hustle, a mass texting platform that had been created barely 18 months earlier. Sanders eventually lost the Democratic nomination, but San Francisco-based Hustle hustles on, shifting its...