Some stuff I’ve seen recently that reminds me of stuff I’ve written about previously:
X & Y names: Tyler Doyle of A Hundred Monkeys notes the rise of “the blank-and-blank restaurant” in the Bay Area: Fish & Farm, Flour + Water, Box and Bells, Bourbon and Beef, et al. I wrote in 2010 about “X + Y restaurants,” and I have a Pinterest board of X & Y retail names (59 and counting!).
Heroes: Quidsi, the parent company of a clutch of e-tailers (Diapers.com, Soap.com, Look.com, et al.), thinks very highly of its workforce and “culture.” Its employees aren’t just model citizens. They aren’t merely heroes. They’re superheroes! With … superpowers?
Quidsi: Latin for “what if.”
By the way, for an interesting take on “our culture” as a code word to screen out older (i.e., over 30) job applicants, see “The Brutal Ageism of Tech” in the New Republic.
Not your close relative’s X: Intacct, a “cloud accounting company,” wants you to know it ain’t no dinosaur.
“This ain’t your grandpa’s financial system.”
Super-comparatives: Harry’s—cute name for a shaving company—isn’t just sharp. Or sharper. It’s sharperer. And less expensiver. Clever branding or risky linguistic overreach?
Note the apostrophe on the razor handle.
All the self-consciously hip brands are doing it, of course. Here’s a promo for ABC’s “Revenge”; the tagline is “Later. Sexier. Revengier.”
Hat tip to Ben Zimmer for the video link.
Food portmanteaus: Taco Bell is testing a quesarito (a hybrid quesadilla/burrito), which will come as old news to Chipotle customers. The owners of a couple of Shoprite markets in New Jersey claim to have invented the donnoli (hybrid donut/cannoli). At the Donut Fest in Chicago back in January, an NPR reporter tasted a doughscuit (“an impossible mix of doughnut-fried sweetness and crumbly biscuitness”) And the Portland, Maine, bakery Little Bigs got slapped down in its attempt to sell a cronut imitation as a crauxnut. Little Bigs asked customers to suggest a new name. The winner: C&D (for “cease and desist”).
And this just in: The New York Times reports on the cragel (croissant + bagel), the mallomac (Mallomar + macaron), the scuffin (scone + muffin), and other hybrid baked goods.
For more food mashups, see my most recent post about the “frissant.”
Caps and consonants: Yep, still a THNG! DSPTCH sells camera straps, bags, and related accessories in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Or is that DGPTCH?
Meanwhile, Japanese retail giant Uniqlo has launched SPRZ NY, “a new global project where art and fashion meet, creating something magical.”
Spores? Spritz? Something Preternaturally Random and Zany? Nope, nope, nope. Surprise!