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Preview: Fritinancy


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

Updated: 2018-04-19T06:30:00-07:00


April linkfest


You know how Google names its Android versions after sweets like Kit Kat and Marshmallow? Well, writes Justin Pot, Microsoft should name its updates after dogs. (How to Geek) * Speaking of Kit Kat, the brand is hugely popular in Japan, in part because “Kit Kat” translates to “You will...

Word of the week: Truckle


“Well, Paul Ryan, you’re a free man now,” began the New York Times editorial that appeared on April 11, the day the Wisconsin congressman announced he’d be stepping down as House speaker and leaving Congress in January. Three paragraphs down, the editorial counseled Ryan about how to put his liberation...

On the Visual Thesaurus: The Name of the Year Tournament


My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus, “Naming the Name of the Year,” looks at the quirky and wildly popular Name of the Year Tournament (NOTY), started in 1983 by some Penn undergraduates and still going strong. One of those undergrads was Stefan Fatsis, who may be better known as...

Word of the week: Demonetization


Nasim Najafi Aghdam, the 39-year-old woman who shot three people at YouTube’s San Bruno, California, headquarters on April 3 before killing herself, is said to have been angry about the company’s policies, especially demonetization. According to an article in Entrepreneur, she had written on her website: “There is no equal...

How did Wakanda get its name?


I saw Black Panther on opening weekend – in Oakland, California, birthplace of the film’s director, Ryan Coogler – and have been thinking ever since about the names in the movie. I’m not a comic-book fan and had never read the source material or seen Captain America: Civil War, the...