Pay For A Date, an “upcoming online dating platform” based in the UK, is, according to its Twitter bio, “dedicated to the joy of dating where quality, not quantity, is the measure of our dating success.”
Stuart Elliott, who used to be the New York Times’s advertising columnist, now writes about ads for Media Village. Here’s his take on the commercials that aired during Super Bowl 50. (“Though it's the biggest feel-good day of the year, Madison Avenue tried hard to bring viewers down – not only with those commercials, but also with spots with strange, off-putting and downright weird characters and premises.”
Feeling romantically challenged this Valentine’s Day? Maybe it’s time to join – or reactivate – that dating-site membership. But before you upload your gently embellished personal details, make sure the service’s name is the perfect match for you. Herewith, my analysis of 10 dating-site names, from dated to dateworthy.
There are three unrelated businesses called What the Truck, a Flight of the Conchords fan site called What the Folk, two radio shows called WTF, a typeface-identification website called What the Font, and a book about women’s health called – I kid you not – What the Yuck?
The ABC Family network, stigmatized by that F-word in its name, now calls itself Freeform. Network president Tom Ascheim told the Television Critics Association that the new name “not only elicits the moment of transition in the medium and a sense of ‘creativity’ and ‘spontaneity’ but also evokes [a] younger 14 to 34-year-old audience, whom he’s dubbed ‘becomers’.” So much to ponder in that single sentence. (Hollywood Reporter)
As for the Freeform logo, Brand New dismisses it as “atrocious in either its stacked or horizontal form.”
In the spring of 1955, the first Totsuko transistor radio, the size of a large pack of cigarettes, rolled off the production line in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It never went on sale – its grille bent and peeled off in hot weather – but it was promising enough that the Bulova Watch Company, in New York, placed an order for 100,000 of them. Bulova wanted to rebrand the radios with its own corporate name, but Akio Morita, the owner of the company that made the radio, refused. Professional pride was one reason. But another, writes Simon Winchester in Pacific* (2015), was that “just a few days prior to receiving the order, he and his colleagues had decided to rename their company, to call it Sony.”
On the evening of Saturday, January 2, a group of armed protestors commandeered the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal preserve near Malheur Lake, about 30 miles south of Burns, in eastern Oregon. The group, which includes Ryan and Ammon Bundy, sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – who had his own clash with the federal Bureau of Land Management in 2014 – is protesting the arrest and imprisonment of two Oregon cattle ranchers convicted of arson on federal land. (The convicted ranchers, father and son Steven and Dwight Hammond, have disclaimed any connection to the armed group, and have begun serving their sentences.) As of today, January 6, the standoff continues, with the protestors vowing to occupy the building “for as long as it takes.” (Or until the local community asks them to leave. Or until their food runs out: Ammon Bundy made a Facebook appeal for “supplies or snacks” – to be sent via U.S. Postal Service, that tool of the archenemy. PETA responded by hand-delivering vegan jerky.) The refuge, which is an important habitat for some 320 species of birds, remains closed to the public until further notice.
For more about the motives and legality of the protest, follow the links at the end of this post. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the story from my preferred angle: naming.
Corinthian Colleges. The bankruptcy filing of Corinthian Colleges, in April, marked the largest shutdown of a for-profit college in U.S. history, and it called into question the practices of for-profit higher education generally. Sixteen thousand students were “displaced,” as official reports put it. (One hundred of the students petitioned the federal government to forgive their student debt.) Corinthian — an adjective meaning “of Corinth,” a city of fabled wealth in ancient Greece – has had many figurative meanings in English since the 16th century, including “elegantly or elaborately ornate” and, as a noun, “a luxury-loving person.” Corinthian columns are heavily decorated with acanthus leaves; in Christianity, Corinthians is the name of two chapters of the New Testament. (And currants derive their name from “raisins of Corinth.”) Corinthian leather was coined in 1974 by a copywriter at the advertising agency responsible for marketing Chrysler luxury vehicles; most of the leather came from a factory in much more prosaic Newark, New Jersey.