Mother Jones magazine (tagline: "Smart, Fearless Journalism") is best known for its courageous, muckraking investigations into political injustice and corporate rapacity. But in the November/December issue MoJo is mostly amused at some of the sillier excesses of brand nomenclature. Authors Elizabeth Gettelman and Dave Gilson, or their editors, call them "appalling appellations," but most are just clueless. A sampling:
- In 2002, the holding company Axa changed its name to Xignux, because it "wanted to conserve the equity it held in the letter X."
- To avoid a pronunciation that translates to "dog dog" in Mandarin, Google calls itself "goo-guh" in China, which means "harvesting song."
- Thanks to a $10 million gift, Columbus Children's Hospital will soon break ground on the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center.
- Among the 50 million registered .com Internet addresses are 550 that meet the 63-character limit, such as Thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com.
In 2002, the German firm Siemens ditched plans to use the name Zyklon for a line of home appliances, including gas ovens.