The Cycle

Does the nAmE! make the company?

Many of us in the office laughed at yesterday’s April Fools’ Day joke played by the Tribune Co. After all, what a ridiculous name that would be: ZellCoMediaEnterprises Inc. All those capital letters, and it’s just one long run-on. An editor’s nightmare!

More importantly, why trade in the cache and built-in brand recognition of a name like the Tribune Co. that most Americans - not just news junkies - recognize if not respect.

It wouldn’t be the only name switch happening in media or elsewhere, though. So many public relations firms, corporations, even schools, spend time coming up with the perfect name that encapsulates its image, brand, and sometimes, even the location. Some try to reflect seriousness with a single name, or a fun spirit with light-hearted punctuation, while create new spellings of common words (to show off creativity?).

What does the end-user get out of all this cutesy or non-cutesy naming? Do all caps really attract more eyeballs? What about those all-lowercase names? Does anyone believe that makes a firm appear cooler, modern-minimalist?

These days it might be more revolutionary to go with Smith Co.

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