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Preview: Fritinancy


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

Updated: 2018-02-15T06:30:00-08:00


On the Visual Thesaurus: Take a number


My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at numbers from a non-mathematical perspective: as words and names. I include commentary on some numeric names I’ve written about here, including 605, SENS8, 23, and 427. Original 420 Brand CBD gummies. For more on 420 as shorthand for “cannabis,” see my...

Word of the week: Galentine's Day


When does a madeupical holiday become a genuine holiday? We can quibble over criteria, but a Hallmark home-page promotion is probably the smooch of validation.* Like Chrismukkah and Festivus before it, Galentine’s Day was invented by television writers – in this case, Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, creators of “Parks...

New name beat: Tushy


I’ll get into the whence and wherefore of this brand name in just a bit. But before I do, an observation: It’s never a good idea to pick a name for your company and its namesake product that is also the name of a widely promoted festish-y photo site. Needless...

Word of the week: Chagrin


Such a lovely-sounding word; such a subtle, complex, and nearly universal emotion: “acute vexation, annoyance, or mortification, arising from disappointment, thwarting, or failure,” as the OED puts it*; “disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure,” according to Merriam-Webster. It found its way into English from French...

One X at a time, again


Groundhog Day seems like an appropriate occasion to talk about “One X at a time,” the sloganclone that, like Punxsutawney Phil, keeps popping up. Year after year I point with alarm. And yet the formula thrives, in sunshine and shadow, in winter, spring, summer, and fall. I feel like such...