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March 22, 2012


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Humira: I know a minister who pronounces "miracle" MARE-acle.

I confess that I actually like saying "Mondelez," but I don't think there's a way it can be spelled to convey the desired pronunciation effectively. But AbbVie? That's abby-normally atrocious.

Mondaleezza mac and cheese, Mondaleezza rice, ...

V is not a plosive, it's a fricative. The only stop in the middle of "AbbVie" is thus the b. But the real problem is that because b and v are produced in nearly the same place, and are both voiced, they're just going to run together, so people saying this name will be saying "abby" or "avvie", not "ab vee".

@Kirinqueen: Thanks for setting me straight!

Why go back all the way to Latin? "Vie" is more clearly borrowed from French "vie" than Latin "vita," and "monde" from French "monde" than Latin "mundus".

@Neal: Why? Politics. They're selling globally, and they don't want to piss off speakers of other European languages by appearing to favor the French. Latin and Greek, being dead, are always safe in name-origin stories.

I know why the Mondeleza smiles ;-)

But wait! There's even more problems with Mondelez (well, I'm not sure it's THAT big a problem...)! Follow this link from today on my naming blog:


Update! In that Huffington Post post my link linked to (Is there an echo in here? in here?), they have "cleaned up" the language in the article. In an earlier version of the story, they quoted a Russian speaker as saying the word sounded like...well, I don't want to repeat what he said it sounded like, but now the headline/link on my blog, that links to the Post post, doesn't make as much sense as it did three hours ago!

Both those names are totally Tfarked up.

And dang, hadn't they even ever heard of http://www.fark.com/?

One of the first and best weird-internet aggregators ever.


Following Kirinqueen, just as "obvious" is pronounced "ovious" in casual speech, so, too, will AbbVie become Av(v)ie--which is slang for an Internet or gaming avatar. Do they want to target the youth gaming market, which may want pharmaceutical stimulants in order to play MMORPGs all night?

Appropriately, "avie" (reportedly from French "à l'envie," "with envy, enviously") is also an obsolete English adverb meaning "emulously" (adv. for "emulate," "competitively," "ambitiously"; http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/avie).


"Mondelish" would be too cutesy, but at least, unlike Mondelez, it would make sense. We just wouldn't know if it's a blended "monde-delish" or a stereotyped Jamaican "Delish, mon!"

Link from my comment above without unintended punctuation: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/avie

Totally with you here. I would *love* to see the names that Mondelez beat out.

By the way, thanks for linking to your old post about Humira. I take a similar medication, so I'm always reading about Humira and the other drugs in that category, and I never could understand why they insisted it was pronounced hu-MARE-ah. I thought it might have been some sort of regional accent thing. Your idea makes more sense.

Getting back to the original point, though, do they really have no one with common sense on these naming committees?

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