It’s the trend that refuses to give up the ghost.
Brother, can you spare a hyphen?
At least the makers of Zenify have made up a story about their verbifying suffix. It’s poorly articulated, but it’s something:
Zenify is a Zen state of mind, clearing away mental clutter to the power of the Phi(fy), which represents the perfect balance between excess and insufficiency. When you drink Zenify, you will be in a Calm, Sharp & Focused [sic] state and this feeling will allow you to react at peak performance in over-stimulating times. Zenify helps you harness your existing energy without being distracted by your surroundings.
Elsewhere on the site, you learn that by “the power of the Phi(fy)” they’re referring to the “golden ratio” or “golden mean,” a mathematical concept expressed by the Greek letter phi. What does all that have to do with the exponential numeral in “Zen2”? I’m in a state of not-knowingness.
The “zen” part of Zenify is even more pervasive in commerce than the “-ify” suffix. As I wrote in a 2008 column for the Visual Thesaurus, zen often stands in as “a synonym for ordinary nothingness”:
Zen can be combined with mail to describe “an incoming e-mail message with no message or attachments.” Zen spin is a verb meaning “to tell a story without saying anything at all.” And to zen a computing problem means to figure it out in an intuitive flash — perhaps while you’re plugged into the earphones of your ZEN MP3 player, now available from Creative with a 16Gb capacity.
Since then, we’ve seen Zenbook, Zencoder, Zendesk, Zenfolio, Zen Lounge, Zenmap, ZenPayroll, Zenprise, ZenQA, Zenverge, ZENworks, and Mommy Zen. And many more: the USPTO trademark database includes 627 live marks with “zen.”
Zendesk billboard via Scott Beale’s Pinterest.
Then there’s The Daily Show’s Moment of Zen, the brief video clip that ends each show. Satori not included; a better title for the segment might be Moment of Eye-Rolling, Forehead-Slapping Bemusement.