My new column for the Visual Thesaurus is a year-end list of the most interesting and significant brand names of 2015 – not necessarily the coolest or the richest, but the newsiest and most onomastically compelling ... in my estimation, anyway.
Here’s an appetizer:
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.
Read the rest of my Brand Names of the Year for 2015.
Previously: Notable brands of 2014 (and scroll down for links to past years’ lists).