néologismes / jeux de mots
22 April 2010
13 January 2011
Steve Bell The Guardian
p. 31 22.12.2006
U.S. president George W. Bush as George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876)
The Guardian p. 5 21.4.2006
The Guardian Weekend p. 25 16.9.2006
The Boston Globe Cagle
R: U.S. president George W. Bush
Detroit, Michigan The Detroit Free Press
The Economist - North America Edition
Aug 27th 2005
The Guardian p. 8
G2 p. 15
The Guardian Weekend p. 82 8.7.2006
The Guardian p. 27 20.10.2005
14 October 2004
L: Tony Blair, British Prime Minister.
The Guardian p. 4 21.3.2005
Mary Poppins baffled
Thursday 1st February 2007
Julie Andrews failed to spell
correctly in front of dozens giggling
held her head in her hands after a child asked her to spell
competition in New York.
"She looked so ashamed
after admitting she didn't know how to spell it
in front of the schoolchildren."
Mary Poppins baffled, A,
07:54 Thursday 1st February 2007,
Fly on the wall
The lunchification of Charles
- our reporter gains exclusive access
to a certain drawing room on Pennsylvania Avenue
Headline and sub,
equally good in a salad
- or with a little chocolate
Headline and first §§,
The end user : Wannabe wanado?
What's a wannadon't? Maybe it's related to a wannabe? In any event, Wanadoo, the name of the European Internet service provider, is Exhibit A in the category of dorky names for technology companies.
Perhaps you are so used to the name that it no longer sounds silly. But it still rings a discordant note in my ear. The bigger problem, though, is that Wanadoo, owned by the aptly named France Télécom, is not alone. Why do companies, especially those doing business on the Internet, come up with the clunkiest, most moronic proper nouns in the English language?
This week, a search engine announced it was taking on Google - Exhibit B - with its service, Clusty.
Clusty? If that doesn't bring the word "crusty" to your mind, I'd be surprised. Of course, this name is brought to you by a company that calls itself Vivisimo, so there should be no surprise here. Clusty does have some connection to the real world, as it "clusters" search results into different categories on a Web page. The name is still a bit of a dud.
This bad naming habit may all have started with Yahoo, a service I love but a name I have never been comfortable with. Before a couple of Stanford University students used it for the name of an Internet database in 1994, the word was mostly used in phrases like "fanatics, rednecks and yahoos."
That the company was able to stay in business, succeed, sell stock and make money is a credit to people who subscribe to the adage "Don't judge a book by its cover."
But I, for one, still can't bring myself to sign up for a firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. In the dictionary, a yahoo is still "a crude or brutish person."
Worse are the companies with names that punc/tuate or capiTalize them in ways that break the rules of the English language. KaZaA and mmo2 take the cake here.
Whatever happened to descriptive, personal or clever names? In these categories I would put Microsoft Network, even though its abbreviation, MSN, breaks other rules; Softbank, Surf Control and General Magic, which, alas, is long gone.
I will give ground in one area: Tech company names are ever so slightly more sane than names of rock bands. But I suspect the goofiness is spawned by the same reason for both: They are trying to attract a group of 15- to 30-year-olds who see wacky names that bend conventions as cool.
The Cambridge-MIT Institute has started a Web site that tries to put a value on future innovation.
The U.K. Innovation Futures site (innovationfutures.com/bk/ index.html) is an extension of the broader Massachusetts Institute of Technology futures market. Through this partnership with the University of Cambridge, you can actually gamble on a predictive marketplace for British innovation.
Its progenitors call it an informative tool for scientists, policy makers, industry leaders and product researchers to track where innovation is going.
But it's essentially a game, a free and fun way to forecast, gamble with play money and satisfy your curiosity about what other people think. There are even prizes to win.
Because you are betting on a outcome, it works essentially like a stock market, or more precisely, a futures market. As of Friday, the odds on some statements about British innovation were as follows:
"The U.K. will generate more than two times the amount of venture capital of any other European country in 2004": 58 percent probability.
"The Cambridge-area biotechnology sector is a bigger employer than application software": 75 percent probability.
Betting games like these, the site contends, "reward the better-informed traders while penalizing the worst." It adds: "The result is a sort of permanent poll of experts who predict what will happen next in the world."
The British-centric area is a little thin after its first two weeks, and the game takes more intellect than an idle hand of computer solitaire. Still, the site is a novel intersection of technology and community.com.
Western society has denounced racism, sexism and anti-Semitism, mobilized against ageism and genderism, anguished over postcolonialism and nihilism, taken arms against Marxism, totalitarianism and absolutism, and trashed, at various times, liberalism and conservatism.
Is it possible there is yet another "ism" to mobilize against?
Robert Fuller, a boyishly earnest 67-year-old who has spent most of his life in academia, thinks so, and he calls it "rankism" - the bullying behavior of people who think they are superior.
The manifesto? Nobodies of the world unite! - against mean bosses, disdainful doctors, power-hungry politicians, belittling soccer coaches and arrogant professors.
"I wanted a nasty word for the crime, an unpleasant word, a stinky word," he said, referring to his choice of the word rankism. "Language is incredibly important in making political change. I always go back to that word sexism and how it became the catalyst for a movement."
Fuller wants nothing less than moral as well as behavioral accountability from the people in charge, whether of governments, companies, patients, employees or students. And he pitches his quixotic notion in a book, a Web site, in radio interviews and lectures at universities and business gatherings that could be considered breeding farms for somebodies.
"The theory has the potential to explain many things we just ignore as a given," said Camilo Azcarate, ombud officer of Princeton University, who recently attended one of Fuller's lectures and bought copies of his book to give to friends.
rebel with an 'ism' of their own, IHT, 10.7.2004,
Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia > Language