The theme of this week's A Word a Day, a feature of Anu Garg's excellent Wordsmith website, has been real words that are also company names. I nodded along with the Monday-through-Thursday selections (cingular, lucent, prudential, vanguard), but stopped short when I encountered today's word:
Here's the definition:
To produce or secrete pus.
[From Latin suppuratus, past participle of suppurare, from sub- + pur- (pus).]
But ... but ... not even a really dumb company would call itself that, I protested. And then I read the rest of the post:
"From one perspective, a certain irony attends the publication of any good new book on American usage. It is that the people who are going to be interested in such a book are also the people who are least going to need it. ... The sorts of people who feel that special blend of wincing despair and sneering superiority when they see EXPRESS LANE - 10 ITEMS OR LESS or hear dialogue used as a verb or realize that the founders of the Super 8 motel chain must surely have been ignorant of the meaning of suppurate." David Foster Wallace; Tense Present: Democracy, English, And the Wars Over Usage; Harper's Magazine (New York); Apr 2001.
Ha. Well played, Mr. Garg.
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