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June 19, 2012

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Virgance deviates from "divergence" by only a couple letters. Am I the only one who feels the hard g there is intuitive? I wonder if my ability to intuit that pronunciation has to do with my horrible spelling. 

Some how I typed divergence but I meant "vergence." Anyway my guess is it doesn't bother me as much because the end and beginnings are close enough.

My current favorite worst company name is Bubo Publishing - a self-publishing ebook company. I can only assume they never actually looked the word up in a dictionary at all!

@Solidus: I wrote about another Bubo--a winery--here: http://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2008/02/in-english-not.html

@Tonydwhite: The rule in English is that G is hard before O, U, and A, and soft before E and I. There are very few exceptions; the only ones that come to mind are "margarine" and the mostly British "gaol."

I guessed the correct pronunciation for Virgance. I could argue that the name Virgil had something to do with it, but more likely is that I have a soft spot for a soft G because the G in my last name is often mistakenly made a hard G.

This post also reminds me of the story of the Chevy Nova not selling in Mexico. Nova = no va = no go. It did better when it was renamed.

@D. Woodger: "Nova" does not mean "no va" in Spanish. You may have missed the end of my post:

>>What about cross-cultural naming gaffes, you may be wondering. Contrary to widespread belief, they are relatively rare. (That story about the Chevy Nova doing poorly in Spanish-speaking countries? It’s a myth.)<<

There's an embedded link to my post about "Nova."

If we must have an example of a General Motors vehicle with an unfortunate name, let it be Buick's LaCrosse, which was sold briefly in Canada as the Allure because in French Canadian slang, "LaCrosse" describes a particular sexual act, solitary in nature.

But Buick eventually pulled up its big-boy pants and slapped the LaCrosse badge on the Canadian cars, pointing out that no one seemed to have any problem with the actual sport called lacrosse.

Story via driving.ca: http://www.driving.ca/news/story.html?id=1962487

...no one really accepts the brand name Mondelez, with the exception of their board of directors.

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