Four new names that caught my attention:
Mansion is the unapologetically 1 percent-ish name of the Wall Street Journal’s new weekly section devoted to “high-end property.” In a letter to WSJ subscribers, managing editor Robert Thomson said Mansion would be “the home of both aspiration and real-estate realization.” I look forward to the quarterly spin-off, Car Elevator.
What the fut was Alaska Telecom thinking when it renamed itself Futaris? This, apparently: “Based on the word future, Futaris represents limitless possibilities and progress.” Funny, because when I look at this sad excuse for a logo, I see “futility.”
(Hat tip: @IgorNaming.)
UPDATE: Reader Dan Freiberg suggests that “this variation helps with pronunciation, and works better with the symbol.”
Juniper is a new subscription service for women who don’t own calendars. Oh, sorry: it’s “a monthly care package” consisting of tampons (five brands are offered) and a collection of “gourmet sweets and artisan savory treats.” (Yes, it’s that word!) “Never panic shop again,” says the home-page copy. The price, however, may cause cramping: $28 a month. I couldn’t find a story behind the name—which is lovely in its nondescriptive way—but I’m wondering whether founder Lynn Tao, young as she appears to be, is a Donovan fan. Remember “Jennifer Juniper,” who “longs for what she lacks”?
UPDATE: Mystery solved (although I’m still fond of my own theory):
I’m even more mystified by Tassafaronga Village, a mixed-income residential development in East Oakland that I learned about this week via a New York Times story. There’s no explanation of the name in the story or on the website of the architect, David Baker, so I tried to dig deeper. I learned that Tassafaronga Point, on Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands), was the site of several naval engagements between US and Japanese forces during World War II. But that wasn’t very helpful: the housing project is meant to heal a troubled neighborhood, so why name it after a bloody, 70-year-old series of battles? And why the Melanesian reference in Oakland, where Pacific Islanders make up less than 1 percent of the population?
It’s certainly a distinctive name, fun to say if a little challenging to spell. Here’s hoping someone who knows the whole story reads this post and leaves a comment that clears up the mystery.