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July 22, 2010

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Context is indeed everything. I work in Intellectual Property law, and Pubmission immediately suggested a site or company that hooks people who want to permission to republish something, with the copyright owners.

How good is a mark, then, if it comes close to being all things to all people?

hmmm.. "matches writers with publishing professionals".. my first thought was "publishity" as in publish+publicity.

If I'm not mistaken, there's another digital submission program called "submishmash." Not much better.

While I understand you are an expert on words, business names are really the apex of a marketing strategy, not filled with meaning but triggers for ad campaigns, logo visual memories, and soundbites. They are chosen to be abstract but interesting or to create actual context and hold conventional meaning. I think pubmission and submishmash are along the abstract but interesting line. Names like Submission Manager are clearly of the other type. There's plenty of MBA's debating which is better. Clearly both types have proven successful. Your complaint that business names don't follow the rules of literary wordsmithing, or lexical meaning is just odd I think. It's like complaining that someone is named 'Tom' because it doesn't describe them.

Videopoet: "Literary wordsmithing"? I'm not sure where you got that. I'm not a creative writer; I'm a professional name developer who's worked in verbal branding for more than 20 years. I'm well aware of the difference between descriptive, arbitrary, and fanciful names, and have written extensively about the spectrum of distinctiveness. I critique names according to several criteria: sound, spelling, meaning, brand positioning, trademark, etc. I certainly don't award points for descriptiveness, which would disqualify a brand name from trademark protection.

With all due respect to MBAs, verbal branding--a combination of applied linguistics and marketing--isn't covered in the b-school syllabus. My clients are mostly MBAs (as well as engineers and scientists).

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